Pita Ten

August 25, 2007

Do you think that everyone has a guardian angel that helps and protect that person? Well, that depends if you believe in angels or not. But in this anime, we have a guardian angel but to say that angel helps and protect that person… Yeah, it’s kinda ironic. I’m talking about the anime Pita Ten, which is short for Pitari Tenshi. Pitari meaning clinging tightly or closely and tenshi meaning angel.
The first thing that you will notice about this anime is that the drawing and animation is more towards the cute side and thus may seem to appeal to younger audiences at first. Even the storyline I felt it’s targeted for such audiences. But if you’re the kind who has a fetish for cuteness, then I suppose this anime will do too (remember Hello Kitty?).
Based on the manga of the same name, this is another one of the many manga titles to have made the anime cross-over. Therefore, it has been adapted into a 26 episode series of comedy, romance and supernatural stuff. Supernatural? Okay, since it involves angel and demons, I suppose I could say it does have some supernatural events. But since everything here is towards the cute appeal, little kids won’t get frightened but instead will feel how adorable they are. Besides, if they don’t mention that they’re an angel or a demon, I wouldn’t have noticed it either.
So we’ve got our main protagonist guy, a young school goer, Koutarou Higuchi (who looks like a chibi version of Natsume of Gakuen Alice), who lost his mom while he’s still a baby and currently living with his dad in an apartment. A typical father who always has to leave for work and no choice but to leave Koutarou alone. But for his age, Koutarou’s quite independant and has got used to this. All this about to change 1 day when a weird girl (more like klutzy and clumsy) moves next door to him and claims that she is an angel, here to protect him from any trouble.
Yup, this pink haired angel, Misha, though seems very genki, hyper active and have a positive outlook in most things, Misha is actually an apprentice angel in training. She’s in training in order to become a full fledge licensed angel. But as the story progresses, you’ll notice something about Misha. Yeah, and I’ve already mentioned it too. She’s klutzy and clumsy so much so she causes more harm, damage and trouble more than anything else. In other words, you’ll feel that everything would be better off without her in the first place! Plus, Misha ends her sentences with ‘~su’ and has that trademark laugh of hers which goes "Tee hee hee hee hee…". Hehehe. Yeah, sometimes she likes to go "Hoe…" too.
That’s what Koutarou had to go through when he first met her. It’s unbelieveable at first. Who wouldn’t? I mean, some happy happy girl claims she’s an angel here to protect you and make your life easier when it turns out the mostly other way round. It’s worse than saying "I can see dead people…". Just kidding. But the good thing is, Misha’s intention is genuine as she tries to make not only Koutarou, but everybody else around her happy, though it may not turn out as expected.
Of course Koutarou too has a couple of close pals of his own. The intelligent, sporty and good looking Takashi Ayanokoji AKA Ten-chan. Yeah, it seems this guy is popular among the girls and they’re all swooning over him. However, Ten-chan isn’t the arrogant type and doesn’t let his popularity go to his head as he still maintains his humbleness. We should follow this guy as a role model. Then there’s Koboshi Uematsu, who seem to have additional cat ears on her head. At first I thought this high pitched little girl really has those cat ears attached to her head but it seems I read that it’s just a head gear though I’ve never seen her taken it off. Anyway, Koboshi’s your typical girl who has a crush on her childhood friend Koutarou but can’t seem to confess her feelings. On the outside, she may act like that tough and brute gal but on the inside she’s just a little girl. Things get heated up with Misha’s arrival. Yeah, jealousy looms and Koboshi is kinda protective of Koutarou. Since Misha happily clings to Koutarou, this pisses off Koboshi very much as she tries to separate Misha from him and tells her to get away from him.
Thus the trio has a hard time trying to believe who Misha really is at first. Mainly because of her incompetance. Though Misha wants to be with Koutarou all the time (really), she can’t and has to go to another school due to their age differences. But she always sneak and appear outside Koutarou’s class, freaking them out, especially Koboshi. And it’s a funny thing to see that whenever Koutarou’s in danger, Misha would in an instant rush over to Koutarou and protect him in a way. Like how Koutarou’s playing football and Misha tries to protect Koutarou from any harm by using herself as a shield and protect Koutarou from the incoming ball. Of course those who play football would know you’re suppose to come into contact with the ball. Apparently Misha doesn’t know football rules, so she’s more of a ‘pain in the ass’ (you could abbreviate that as PITA. Hahaha! Just couldn’t resist doing that one. Sorry. Just kidding) as she takes the blow and ends up knocking herself out in the process. Must be painful but at least she’s doing it to ‘protect’ Koutarou.
I suppose the trio just let weirdo Misha be because I think that they’re convinced that no matter how much persuasion, Misha would still continue to do what she’s doing. But Koutarou soon belives that Misha’s an angel when that night he’s having a dream about his late mom when he wakes up to find Misha, who then proceeds to take him on a night flight around town. It’s quite a beautiful scenary. I guess Koutarou could accept having an angel living next door to him. Unless he has to put up with Misha who comes running, greeting and hugging him every morning each time he heads out of his apartment door to go to school. You know what this means to Koboshi, right?
So over the series, Misha’s identity as an angel is only known to the trio. I guess it’s best that way. Firstly, who would believe that an angel really exists. Secondly, it would jeopardise Misha’s chances of being a full fledge licensed angel. But the entire series isn’t about the (mis)adventures of the trio and Misha as there are other fun and wacky characters thrown into the fray. Making her appearance in episode 4 is Shia, who’s an apprentice demon in training, whom Misha and the gang met when they visit the hotspring inn. At first, Shia may look like a cute innocent magical girl and I couldn’t believe that she’s a demon. Not only that, she’s more reliable, kind-hearted, gentle and soft spoken. In other words, Shia is more competant in terms of household chores and the likes as compared to Misha! It’s so un-demon like and ironic! Yup, we have an angel who causes trouble and a demon who is good natured. It’s really topsy-turvy.
Shia has a black cat, Nya (who in a way reminds me of Utamaru of Da Capo), who is also Shia’s trainer and mentor. Yup, Nya is your typical evil demon (in a cute way) and tries to train and teach Shia in order to become a full fledged demon. But because of Shia’s good natured ways, Nya’s plans always go awry and in a way, it makes him look like a fool. Yeah, it happens not only once but many times. In fact all the time. I wonder how he put up with these. Nya must have lots of hope and patience in Shia. Hmmm… Isn’t those qualities un-demon like too? And sometimes, because of the gang’s ‘incompetance’, Nya just heave a heavy sigh and in a way surrenders for the day. After the hotspring incident whereby Koutarou and Koboshi fainted, Shia lives along with Misha and does the cooking and cleaning as repayment for her gratitude. And Nya just play along and live alongside them, waiting for another chance to pound back.
Then making his appearance in episode 6 is Hiroshi Mitarai, as he is reluctantly given the nickname Dai-chan by the others due to the kanji writing of his first name. Koboshi notices how Ten-chan is popular with other girls always so much so she jokes about soon how guys would start swooning over him. True enough, some bespectacled kid in some limo pulls up at the school gate and approaches Ten-chan. Is his nightmare coming true? Good news it isn’t so. Bad news is, this Dai-chan kid is your typical loud mouth kid who sees Ten-chan as his eternal rival and wants to challenge him to whatever challenges so that he could beat him. Why? Because of some exam called Nationwide Sham Exam (really)whereby Dai-chan thinks he has secured top spot only to be beaten by Ten-chan. Ever since then, Dai-chan has been vowing to take his ‘revenge’ by beating Ten-chan. But as expected, that loser Dai-chan always ended up on the losing side. Plus, Dai-chan always challenges Ten-chan though the latter is always reluctant and tries to avoid ‘useless’ and unnecessary challenges. Real loser. He’ll always be playing second fiddle.
Another weirdo is Dai-chan’s younger sister, Kaoru. Making her appearance in episode 7, this misguided sister with some long ribbons as her head accessory at first wants to help her brother to defeat Ten-chan but mistakenly thinks Koutarou to be the target. Coincidentally, Kaoru bumps into the arms of the real Ten-chan and falls in love with him, still not knowing he is the real thing. Of course she as she tries to take on Koutarou, she flops, but in the end, realizes who the real Ten-chan is and in an instant, changes her goal and objective. Yup, she’s in love with Ten-chan now and would not hesitate to beat up those who would cause her Ten-chan any harm, even if it’s her own brother. Why, she even plans to marry him and isn’t shy of expressing her feelings for him. Well, as for Ten-chan, he doesn’t really give a definite answer. But I’m sure he’s not really interested to a twisted sister of an equally (if not more) twisted and irritating brother. Though Kaoru doesn’t appear that much in the series, only some episodes and on certain occassions, nevertheless, I like the way she laughs when she goes "Ohohohohohoho…". Sound so funny and cute.
So the love triangle is something like this. As we all know that Koboshi likes Koutarou and sees Misha as a ‘competitor’ (though I feel Misha’s love for Koutarou isn’t the boyfriend-girlfriend lovey-dovey type), as the series progresses, we see Ten-chan slowly falling in love with Shia because of her kindness. Of course, at that time, nobody knew Shia is a demon just yet. And when it’s revealed later on that Shia is one, Ten-chan’s feelings didn’t waver at all. Goes to show that it’s the inside that counts. Yeah, don’t judge a book by its cover. Also, Dai-chan fell head over heels when he first land his eyes on Misha and claims her to be his angel. Ironic part is, Dai-chan doesn’t know Misha’s an angel. Because Dai-chan comes from a family line of some demon/ghost exorcist, Dai-chan has the ability to sense the presence of supernatural beings. Oddly enough, he can sense that there’s a demon aura but couldn’t place his finger that it’s Shia. Even so, he thinks Shia is being possessed by some demon and would try to exorcist her, much to the annoyance of the trio, especially Ten-chan. Another irony is that Kaoru seems to think Misha is a demon and is making her brother thinking and feeling differently than usual and tries to get rid of her. She too doesn’t really know that Misha’s an angel nor Shia a demon. Sounds complicated? You’ll get by. Okay, so Dai-chan nearly gets close in finding out that Misha’s an angel in episode 9 because he saw her flying as he’s leaving the apartment where they live (to his surprise that Koutarou lives next to his ‘angel’). And of course, Kaoru tries to get rid of Misha while the trio tries to straighen things out but all that belief that Misha’s an angel is debunked when the next day Misha shows Dai-chan and Kaoru that she’s just wearing an angel suit. And since Ten-chan said so, I guess lovey-dovey Kaoru belives in him straight away.
Thus most of the episodes are somewhat filled with fun and comical antics as Misha tries her best to keep Koutarou and the rest happy while Nya tries to ruin it all (and miserably fails because of his incompetant apprentice), Dai-chan issues another one of his challenges to Ten-chan, some hilarious moments ensue but in the end, it all ends well.
Like in episode 2 how Koboshi tries to make Koutarou’s favourite apple pie so that Koutarou would like her more than Misha but since she’s got no money to buy a book on how to make it, she has to run back and forth from her home to the bookshop just to make a decent apple pie, because she jsut couldn’t remember the next step. Though in the end, Koboshi managed to finish her apple pie and is gonna give it to Koutarou, she finds out that Koutarou’s tired of all the apple dishes because he had too much of them. But Koutarou just ate Koboshi’s because he haven’t eat cooked ones, making Koboshi glad. And leave it to Misha to ruin the moment as she comes running and happily hugs Koutarou and Koboshi. Haih…
Or in episode 3, Koboshi organizes a test of courage so that she could scare the wits out of Misha. But a mishap happened to Koutarou in an old abandoned building. Misha luckily was there in time to save him before he falls to his death and at the same time happily admits that she’s an angel to Ten-chan and Koboshi. Yeah, seeing is believing. Even though Koboshi now knows Misha’s an angel, she’s not gonna give up nor lose to Misha. Also, the gang decides to go help Ten-chan’s uncle who runs a cafe, Tricot, in episode 5 as he has to attend some meeting. Though they’re supposed to only prepare stuffs, another 1 of Koboshi’s fits causes her to accidentally change the door sign to ‘open’. Oh oh. And the customers are streaming in. Shia also helps because the gang thinks she’s good in cooking and is more competant than Misha who as usual is clumsy, but did her best. Of course in the end, the whole gang manages to pull through without causing any major disaster (like burning down the cafe. Just kidding. Touch wood). Then in episode 8 whereby the school is organizing a play and Ten-chan is supposed to play the lead role but he got into an accident and hurt himself. Thus, Koutarou has to take his place, not to mention the heartbreak of the other girls who wants to see Ten-chan perform. Dai-chan sees this opportunity to beat his arch rival. Can he do it? You know lah. Though Koutarou has a hard time practicing his lines and low self-confidence, but in the end, with Misha’s cheer the play goes well and they all got a standing ovation.
Then in episode 10, Misha accidentally breaks a mug that Koutarou likes because it reminds him of his late mom. Misha tries to glue it back together but the magic glue ends up gluing other things and people togehter. Yeah, Dai-chan and Ten-chan together, go figure. But in the end, Misha manages to reconcile with Koutarou and no hard feeling anymore. In episode 11, Ten-chan is having one of his days as he’s feeling down and spacing out a lot. Thus this is affecting his grades in a way. Though it’s to Dai-chan’s delight, the rest tries to cheer him up. Even Kaoru throws some lavish party for him but to no avail. I’m not sure what’s causing him to be like that, but after some talk with Shia and Misha, Ten-chan is back to himself and easily outclasses Dai-chan to number 1 spot again. But by the end of this episode, Ten-chan wonders if Shia is a demon because since there’s an angel Misha, there has to be a demon, right? Yin Yang. Of course, Shia innocently admits that she’s a demon. Bummer. But looks like Shia isn’t perturbed by it.
So in episode 12, Ten-chan really does find out that Shia’s a demon he tries to accept the fact that he’s in love with a demon. Okay maybe not that. Imagine if you marry a demon, the devil will automatically become your in-law and you’ll be next in line for the throne of hell. Hahaha. Just kidding. Meanwhile the rest tries to collect garbage, trash and stuff people don’t want for charity but 1 of Misha’s magical contraptions which causes people’s ‘useless and cluttering’ stuffs in their memory to appear in the real world, making a real mess of the place. Dai-chan thinks it’s Shia who’s causing all this until Misha herself admits she’s the one who’s doing all this, shocking Dai-chan. Soon all the clutter and mess is cleared as they disappeared leaving the streets spick and span clean. The gang visits Dai-chan’s enormous mansion when they receive an assignment about the workings of the government in episode 13. Yeah, they’re invited by him in the first place. Since the place is bloody huge, you can expect them to get lost, with lots of traps and why there’s even a jungle in there. But the thing is, Koutarou finds out that Dai-chan’s forefathers (who all look the same in a way. Just different moustache, bear, hairstyle and uniform) are quite respectable in their field of knowledge thus the reason why Dai-chan is under pressure to do equally well and succeed like them.
Not only Koutarou is facing an exam in episode 14, Misha is too. But the latter’s exam is to make someone happy and Misha haven’t the slightest idea what it means. So instead of making Koutarou happy, she is more like annoying him. As expected isn’t it? Koutarou finally understands and tries to cheer up Misha after some talk. Though Koutarou manages to do well in his exams (getting 3rd place), Misha is still lost about what makes Koutarou happy. Yeah, lots and lots of nikuman. Oh be patient Koutarou. Koutarou’s little cousin Shino comes to visit in episode 15. Apparently, Shino’s father gives an excuse that he’s gonna be working away for some time and would leave it to Koutarou to take care of her for awhile. But the real fact is that Shino’s dad is getting some diagnostic test at some hospital as he doesn’t want to worry little Shino. So Koutarou and the gang brings her to the amusement park but Shino soons find out about her dad and cries inconsoleably because she doesn’t want to be left all alone. In the end, luckily Shino’s dad is okay, Misha brought Shino to the hospital by flying her there. I suppose she’s just a kid and couldn’t really be bothered whether Misha’s a real angel or not because she loves the flight and wants Misha to do it again.
Another character is introduced in episode 16. She is Sasha, Misha’s elder sister and is a full fledged angel herself. With the appearance of Sasha, Nya isn’t too fond of her and everytime they see each other, they try to shoot each other with some projections. Yeah, they really hate each other and the feeling’s mutual. This is a pretty normal scene since those 2 are like cats and dogs. Shouldn’t it be this way? Sasha can’t belive that Misha, an angel is living alongside a devil. Both Nya and Sasha are criticizing each other of their ways of bringing up their apprentices. Uh-huh, it’s like right back at ‘cha. Though it may seem odd and unfitting, but isn’t it better this way. If angels and demons can leave together in peace, then there’s hope for mankind! I like the part whereby Sasha and Nya were zapping each other but since they missed each other and hit the gang, it’s so funny to see them one minute all friendly with each other (Sasha’s goodiness zap) and then all violent and unkind the next (Nya’s evil zap). But in the end, it’s a draw because they used up too much power and Sasha had to leave because her Super Heaven Pretty Boys Choir Concert is just about to begin. Okay, so angels aren’t perfect too.
In episode 17, Ten-chan perhaps is thinking this outing with Shia as a date. Likewise, Misha with Koutarou but since Koboshi doesn’t allow Misha to be alone with him, she has to tag along with those 2 just to be safe. Meanwhile, Nya decides to use his evil powers to cause havoc by zapping Kaoru with some beam so much so she becomes possessed. Uh-huh, she has cat ears and tail. So watching a movie at the cinema, Ten-chan and Shia suddenly comes under attack from a jealous possessed Kaoru. She’s really destroying the place. Though it’s a little too much than Nya’s expectation, he’s enjoying like the devil he is. The gang tries to flee from Kaoru as they hide at the playground. Shia tries to use her magic but is too weak at it. But in the end, Dai-chan confronts her sister and manages to exorcise her. Kaoru soon apologizes for her actions and to make it up to them, Dai-chan allows the gang to watch movies to their hearts content at their mansion’s movie theater with food and drinks all thrown in. Yipee.
A beach episode in episode 18 as the gang heads there to have some fun and relaxation. We find out that Dai-chan is afraid of the ocean and so he confined himself to a swimming pool while the rest head for a swim in the ocean. Of course he joins them later when Misha teaches him how to swim. So Koutarou teaches Misha to swim and Koboshi who doesn’t want to lose out either gets a lesson from him too. Kaoru has a private moment with Ten-chan. If only this could last forever. Shia sits out because of her skin which is quite sensitive to sunlight (she’s from the underworld remember. All this while, she’s been sufficiently clothed) but when it’s evening, she finally manages to take a dip. When Ten-chan comes back, he’s devastated to find out that Shia had already swam a little. Why is that? That’s because Ten-chan is hoping to see Shia in her swimsuit. And he’s the only one who didn’t get to see it. Too bad. Maybe next time.
Misha’s gonna have her angel exam in episode 19 and Sasha is gonna be her examiner. Yup, the topic is still to make people happy. So our genki Misha makes herself invisible and tries to make other people in the park happy as Sasha watches on from a distance. You’ve guessed it, Misha isn’t doing too well and doesn’t look like she has any hope of passing. And with Nya trying to foil her moves, it makes it even tougher. Yup, it’s Sasha vs Nya round 2. You’d expect such thing with these 2 around. Soon because of their zapping, they caused a havoc to the people below and a large tomato food fight occurs. Now that’s painting the town red! Koutarou can’t stand to see what’s happening as he screams on the top of his voice for everyone to stop. Misha heard his pleas and went to hug him and some large aura coming out from Misha restored things back to normal. Sasha seems pleased with the results and will tell Misha the results soon as she gets back to Heaven with her observations.
So Misha flopped her exams at the start of episode 20 and she cooly tells Koutarou about it before going missing. Of course everyone is shocked by it. No matter how irritating that person is and causing more trouble than good, I suppose if you’ve been together with that person for a long time, I’m sure you’d feel something missing. Yup, that’s what Koutarou’s feeling. This must be real devastating news to Dai-chan. Oh Misha, where oh where can you be. So lots of spacing out, flashbacks and thinking before Misha finally appears. Yup, she’s happy to see Koutarou and misses him too as she comes hugging him. So where did she go? Misha went back to Heaven to request another angel exam. Yeah, it’s been a week since she’s missing and Misha thought it’s only been 1 day. Is there a time difference between Heaven and Earth? Must be. Though everyone is glad Misha’s finally back, Koutarou can’t help think that if Misha were to pass the next angel exam, she wouldn’t be hanging around the gang any longer. Oh the dilemma.
Episode 21 is Koboshi’s episode. Yup, that little girl is gonna try her best and do things so that Koutarou would notice and like her. Of course Koboshi has a hard time keeping up like going on a diet and studying lots and lots of books. So much so 1 day during P.E. she collapsed. So as Koboshi rests in the infirmary with Koutarou sitting next to her, we see some flashback a young Koboshi being the tough girl protecting Koutarou from some bullies. Yeah, don’t mess with her. But in the end, Koboshi thinks that she’s just fine being herself since Koutarou likes the real her that way and that she don’t have to rush it. Unless if you consider that Misha threat. Hehehe.
Due to the many washing of plates and cups by Shia, in episode 22 Shia accidentally broke Misha’s bowl. The gang then thinks that if they had a dishwasher, Shia’s job would’ve been easier (yeah, why don’t you all chip in and help in the first place) and that she could avoid breaking any more bowls. As luck would have it, they saw a poster about a local running competition with the dishwasher as its main prize and the gang, including Dai-chan, Kaoru and their butler decides to join in to win the main prize. Since it’s a relay race, the gang of 8 needs to split into teams of 2. It’s so funny to see them trying to see which group they want to go as they kept shuffling back and forth. That’s because Dai-chan doesn’t want to be in Ten-chan’s team but wants to be in Misha’s team and since Koboshi can’t let Misha be with Koutarou, she has to be on Koutarou’s team. Hahaha. So it ended up Koutarou, Misha, Koboshi and Dai-chan on 1 team and the other team includes, Ten-chan, Shia, Kaoru and the old butler.
During race day, they had a tough competition from some old veteran runners and the ‘enemy’ within themselves. What do I mean? Well, since Kaoru’s so thrilled that she’s on Ten-chan’s group, she can’t really concentrate and Shia’s body is too weak to run while that old butler ‘ignores’ Dai-chan’s pleas to go easy for him, because he can’t resist ‘showing off’. In the end, the old veterans won but Shia isn’t disappointed because the gang finds out that it’s not the dishwasher that she wanted, but the consolation prize of the bowl which looks like Misha’s one. Misha is touched by Shia’s words and all and proceeds to hug her happily. Nya, who’s watching from afar quipped "A friendship between an angel and a demon, this could be the end of the world". Yeah how true. So now we know what to expect and the cause for Armageddon. But isn’t good to get along like this? Such a peace isn’t it welcomed? Uh-huh, keep your enemies closer, they say.
Koutarou and Ten-chan’s relationship took a little strain in episode 23. That’s because the gang are supposed to go hiking and during their playful mode, Koutarou accidentally spills Ten-chan’s bento, which is specially made from the hard work of his beloved Shia. Naturally, Ten-chan wanted to taste the bento so bad and now it’s ruined. Thus, those 2 decide not to speak with each other. As fate would have it, the 2 boys got stranded together when a little storm wrecked a little havoc on their trip and they have to put aside their differences and help each other out. In the end, with Misha and Dai-chan’s help, they manage to rescue them especially Koutarou, before he gets washed away by the river’s strong current. Back home, the 2 boys felt sorry for their actions and once again become friends. To their delight, Shia actually has prepared her bento too much so much so that there’re lots of leftovers as our fellow friends start digging in and taste Shia’s excellent culinary skills. Itadakimasu!
Episode 24 is the start of the turning point of the series. It all started when Ten-chan has some pain in his stomach and was hospitalized. So as the gang visits Ten-chan resting in hospital, the pediatric kids there seems to be quite fond of Shia as she keeps them company with her amazing stories. But later, those kids and even Ten-chan got a little sick and Dai-chan thinks it’s that ‘demon’ Shia who’s causing all the trouble as he tries to exorcise her. But it’s revealed that it’s Misha’s magical cookies which is causing their discomfort. By the way, this is the last episode you’ll ever see Kaoru when she visits her beloved Ten-chan in hospital. She went to decorate the room to make Ten-chan feel at home but those kids are having their fun and ruining the decorations, pissing Kaoru off. Because she’s noisy, the nurse comes in and asks her what she’s doing. Of course at first it looks like Kaoru’s the one causing the ruckus as she replies that she didn’t do anything before she tells Ten-chan to take care and quickly leaves. After that, I’m not too sure what happened to her, even in the final episode, she didn’t make an appearance. But unknown to Shia, a group of demon cats are watching from outside the hospital. When Shia comes home late that night, Nya informs her that she has been fired as a demon apprentice. Oh can this be true? I wonder if Shia really understood that.
Shia did indeed vanish in episode 25. Yeah, I suppose those other demon cats had enough of Shia’s gentle ways and Nya even mentioned that he’s been the butt of jokes back at the council. The thing is when a demon apprentice is fired, he/she will disappear the next full moon, which is the next night. But Shia doesn’t mind to vanish if it meant making people happy. Oh, that girl she’s still her kind self right to the end. However, it’s not only Shia’s physical body that has vansihed. Memories of her from the gang also vanished, Misha is initially shocked that nobody remembers Shia like as though she has never existed or touched their lives in the first place. No doubt, Nya is sad too even though his apprentice is incompetant. But Shia is HIS incompetant apprentice. At the same time, Misha receives a letter saying that this is her final chance to pass the exam or else she cannot take another exam again. So lots of spacing out and flashbacks as Misha tries to get Koutarou to remember Shia and all the times they had been together. In a way, Koutarou doesn’t want to remember because of the painful memories it may bring back like his late mom. First time seeing Misha crying and emotionally breaking down. It’s quite disheartening. Because of that, Koutarou remembers Shia and we can see up in the sky some round purple aura and red petals coming out of it. Could it be Shia’s returning? But whatever it is, Sasha doesn’t seem to fond of it because she thinks Misha is screwing up her last chance of being a full fledged angel by making a demon come back.
Shia did came back again but not as a whole yet in the final episode 26 because Koutarou managed to remember her. Though Nya is happy but Sasha isn’t because when Shia disappeared, Misha passed the exams but with her return, it could mean Misha would be dismissed. But Misha couldn’t care less about that as she feels that it would be too lonely and sad without having Shia around. Sasha decides to erase Koutarou’s memories again but was intercepted by Nya who wouldn’t allow it. Soon another duel between the 2 as they exchange firepower and insults. Uh-huh. One saying stupid dirty-mouthed cat and the other one saying poorly made paper doll. Misha decides to make the rest of the gang remember Shia by using some magic to make a person remember. After that tiring duel, Sasha tries to knock some senses to Misha saying that if she does that, then she herself would vanish too! Meanwhile Nya is concucting some potion to bring Shia back.
The next day Koutarou bumps into his buddies at school, though they don’t remember Shia yet, Koutarou is surprised that they don’t know who Misha is too! Koutarou fears the worse as he rushes home. Luckily he finds Misha there but she’s a little transparent. Which means she’s gonna disappear is she goes ahead with her plan. So after some words from the heart from Misha to Koutarou like how memories aren’t painful and such. Even Sasha tried her last ditch attempt to persuade her not to do so because she thinks the world would be better off without demons. However, Misha replied that isn’t it wrong to make a demon happy? Yeah, look at it this way. Misha didn’t see Shia as a demon but a friend. *Sob sob*. And isn’t it an angel’s job to make sure everyone’s happy even though that person’s a demon? Pretty ironic, huh?
Misha leaves as she soars through the sky sprinkling her whatever magic to make everyone’s memories of Shia return. Koutarou tries to chase and stop her but to no avail. The next day it seems Shia is really back as she comes to chat with Koutarou who’s prepareing to leave for school. Uh-huh, Misha’s gone but Shia says it doesn’t really feel that Misha’s disappeared at all. As the 2 head for school, they bumped into Koboshi, Ten-chan and Dai-chan who all remembered Shia and to Koutarou’s surprise, remember who Misha is too. How could this be? Sasha who’s watching from afar, narrates how Misha had done an angelic thing. Because of that, with Sasha’s ‘service’ to the gang, Misha has to start from the very beginning again as an apprentice. Yup, Misha’s back as she came flying down from the sky and crashes into Koutarou and hugs him. But he doesn’t mind that because Misha’s back and everybody’s glad. Yeah, in the end everybody gets to be together once again and more fun-filled days (depends on how you view it) awaits them. I suppose Koutarou and co don’t mind about Misha’s clumsiness and klutziness anymore because it comes in a package bundled with super happiness and genkiness. They learn to accept that it’s what makes Misha, Misha.
Overall, I guess I could say I really did enjoy this anime though I felt like a little kid while watching the series. Everything here looks cute as mentioned and there isn’t anything gory or that scary. From the characters to their costumes to even the opening and ending credits and the mid-intermission, cute is the in-thing. Reminds you of Ichigo Mashimaro, huh? But this one has got angels and magic.
I like the voice acting of the characters as it really suits their personality. Speaking of which, the series has got several famous voice actresses like the voice actress for Misha is Yukari Tamura (who also voiced Sakura in Da Capo, Ranpha in Galaxy Angel, Nanoha in Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha and Ichigo in Onegai Teacher), Koboshi is Rie Kugimiya (who happens to voice characters like Shana of Shakugan No Shana, Louise of Zero No Tsukaima, Al of Fullmetal Alchemist, Hotaru of Gakuen Alice, Miyabi of 2×2=Shinobuden and Rizel of Rizelmine), Shia is Yukana Nogami (also the voice for Honoka in Pretty Cure), Motoko Kumai for Dai-chan (also played Chocolove in Shaman King), Koutarou is Miyuki Sawashiro (voiced Puchiko of Di Gi Charat, Hotarubi of Basilisk, Shinku of Rozen Maiden and Mint of Galaxy Angel) anf finally Ten-chan is Mitsuki Saiga (done as Robert in The Law Of Ueki). Impressive casts, done you think, no?
The soundtrack and background music too sounds cute and fun. Especially the one where the violin solo is being played. Though the soundtrack isn’t my usual cup of tea, but it does suit the mood and atmosphere of the series with its variety of music. I happen to notice that there are quite a number of fanart works of the series over the internet. Must have got a huge fanbase. Yeah, cuteness sells. Oops, said that word too many times. Am I trying to be cute?
Another unique thing about this series is that all of the episode titles have the ‘~no kata’ meaning ‘How to~’ words in it. For example, ‘How to bake an apple pie’, ‘How to find something that is lost’ and ‘How to enjoy a vacation’. Though the episode titles are named like that, I doubt that it shouldn’t be used as a guideline to do those stuffs. Yeah, you know Misha, right? But at least it gives a hilarious insight on how to do it.
But the important thing here is the power of friendship and that one should not judge and prejudice another because of a different background or whatsoever details which allows us to segregate another by category. If only people could see angels and demons living together peacefully, perhaps they could use it as a role model to live in harmony. But you know, what are the chances?
So next time you have a guardian angel, don’t be too happy about it first. Okay, forgive me for being bias after watching this series. But hey, maybe a clumsy and klutzy angel may just be a blessing in disguise. Likewise, if you see a demon, don’t rebuke it just yet. If angels and demons do get along, I suppose there’s no need for Heaven and Hell anymore. So where do dead people go after they die? And where would angels and demons live? It all comes back down to Earth. Whatever it is, I hope we could all just live in peace and be happy. Yeah, happily watching my animes in peace. Tee hee hee hee hee…
Oh yeah, there’s 1 thing that I can’t resist from mentioning. If PITA could stand for Pain In The Ass, what about TEN? How about That’s Enough Nonsense! Hahaha. Just kidding. The End Now.


August 24, 2007

  Kakusenai hodo mabayui hikari,
  Seijaku yaburi kono yo ni yomiageru,
  Hageshiku yuragu kawaita daichi,
  Ichino wo kakete hibana butsukeau
Ah… This song reminds me of the good ol’ days when I was watching the anime series Yugioh. Though the local tv station didn’t really manage to all all the seasons, as far as I remember, because I was so into this series at that time, I decided to download and listen to the rest of the opening and ending themes of the series. To my surprise, the 5th opening song, Overlap, caught my attention and I instantly fell in love with it.
  Mou ichido dake ii kiseki okite yo,
  Kako ni nakushita kioku no PEEJI wo torimodosu,
  Chikara wo…
Sung by Kimeru, Overlap is another one of those rock songs with a fast beat and catchy tune. The opening electric guitar play is already enough to get me into the mood. Though I could say that there may not be enough ‘variety’ in the tune but I guess the song is captivating enough to sustain my attention.
  Yami wo tsuranuku shinjiru kokoro,
  Tamashii nemuru basho sagashite,
  Mabataki dekinai surudoi gankou wo moyasu
Since there is no vocal backgrounds at all, singing this song doesn’t make me feel that awkward or uncomfortable. And at one point, I even thought I myself sound as close as the singer himself (perasan betul!). I guess I was at my peak form at that time. But ever since, I haven’t felt that way anymore. Must’ve been brought down to earth.
  Hikari to kage no futatsu no kokoro,
  KURISUTARU ni utsuru mirai e,
  Ima ugokidasu, Akaku minagiru eyes
At first the lyrics for me seems hard to remember (it is still) because this isn’t your typical love song as the lyrics are more abstract something about light and darkness. I think. Plus at that time my Japanese vocabulary isn’t that good. Though I’m over this song now, I can’t help think back that I once liked this song so much that I would sing it several times per session. Yeah, perhaps I’ve got too much of it already by over doing it.
  Kasaniaru eyes…

Rozen Maiden Dolls

August 18, 2007

Yes! I still love those cute and kawaii midget size Rozen Maiden dolls. Okay, maybe some of them I love to hate. But overall with each of their quirky and unique personality, it makes them quite an interesting lot. What more garbed in colourful goth-loli styled dresses, don’t you just love how cuuuuuuute they look?
Forgive me if I sound like a sissy, admiring those dolls. Unless you’re not into anime or if you’re anime lovers but don’t quite like this kind of anime, I guess one couldn’t resist falling in love with these dolls. And they’re not just ordinary dolls. As I will reiterate, in short, they’re dolls created by some German guy, Rozen, and are destined to duel each other in a game called Alice Game, so that only the one left standing will become the perfect doll known as Alice, and will be able to meet their Father, whom they love so much. So who are they already? Carry on…
Being the first doll to be introduced when the series started, Shinku is your typical bossy and demanding lady who gets whatever she wants. Okay, maybe not entirely. Shinku at first seems like a Victorian era aristocrat as she enjoys drinking tea and ordering her ‘servants’ to make them or other biddings she has in mind. Initially, Shinku portrays no emotions or sympathy towards others (though from time to time in a way she enjoys ‘abusing’ Jun), probably because she and Suigin Tou don’t see eye to eye. As the series progresses, Shinku starts to become soft after her battle with Suigin Tou and doesn’t want to fight with her sisters. She wants them all to stay together like the way it is and fears of losing it. Shinku enjoys watching the tv series Detective Kun Kun and is quite gullible into believing things from the show. Also, Shinku dislikes cats because of her close encounter with 1 whereby it nearly took her wind-up key.
Doll number: 5
Medium: Jun Sakurada
Artificial Spirit: Hollie
Weapon: Uses rose petals during her attacks and her cane which she can double up as her sword
Battles (selected): Vs Hina Ichigo (Shinku emerges victorious when Hina Ichigo uses up too much power from her medium); Vs Suigin Tou (Though Shinku has several battles with Suigin Tou, it seems Suigin Tou always have the upper hand. By the end of season 1, Shinku wins after a gruelling battle. In season 2, no obvious outcome. In OVA, a draw before Laplace signals the end of the game for that era); Vs Bara Suishou (Shinku doesn’t seem to posses the upperhand as she’s avoiding and dodging Bara Suishou’s attacks. At the end of season 2, Shinku lost to her because she got distracted by Jun’s call); Vs Sousei Seki (OVA – draw and unfinished)
Flaw: Too bossy
Hina Ichigo
The second doll to appear in the series, appearing in the second episode of the 1st season, Hina Ichigo is the most child-like and childish in nature among the other dolls. Because of this, she doesn’t like being alone and is always in playful mode. She enjoys colouring and doodling with her crayons. With her squeaky high pitched voice, she likes to utter the words "Unyuu", which is some strawberry daifuku (a small rice glutinuous mochi). Liking all things cute, Hina Ichigo also likes Nori’s flower top hamburger and other sweet snacks. Because of her naivety, she often gets teased, mocked and duped by Suisei Seki, being the gullible little doll she is. Like Shinku, she loves watching the Detective Kun Kun show.
Doll number: 6
Medium: Initially Tomoe Kashiwaba. After her loss, she draws her powers indirectly from Jun through Shinku.
Artificial spirit: Berrybell
Weapon: Uses vines to seize and trap her opponents
Battles (selected): VS Shinku (Hina Ichigo admits defeat at the end of her battle to save her medium); VS Suigin Tou (mostly assisting Shinku in her battles); Before the real Alice Game starts, Father seems to have cut Hina Ichigo’s power link with Shinku, causing her to be in a comatose state.
Flaw: Too childish and naive
Suigin Tou
My favourite doll with her devillish giggles and the main villain of the first season. Suigin Tou was a doll left unfinished by Father but her strong desire to meet him lets Father gave her a Rosa Mystica of her own. Suigin Tou harbours a very deep hatred for Shinku because of the latter’s comments on how she isn’t perfect and not a Rozen Maiden doll. Thus, she detests being called a junk and gets really pissed off whenever Shinku calls her one. Though she may be cunning and would use any means to win the Alice Game, later on, Suigin Tou too show that she has her good side when she deeply cares for the sick girl, Megu. Though at this point, she may seem less crafty and scheming.
Doll number: 1
Medium: Initially nil. But she is revived and gains Megu as her medium in the second season
Artificial spirit: Mei Mei
Weapon: Shoots black feathers from her back
Battles (selected): Vs Shinku (in season 1, Suigin Tou has several battles with Shinku and seems she has the upperhand. Eventually Suigin Tou was defeated at Shinku’s hands by the end of the 1st season. In the 2nd season, her final battle with Shinku was interrupted by Bara Suishou. In the OVA, their battle rudely came to a halt when Laplace announces the end of the Alice Game for that era); Vs Sousei Seki (Suigin Tou wins the fight); Vs Bara Suishou (a brief battle when Suigin Tou was shortly revived in the second season. And at the end of the 2nd season, it isn’t a direct fight when Suigin Tou lost to her when Bara Suishou stabbed her from the back)
Flaw: Incomplete
Suisei Seki
The more conniving twin of the Rozen Maiden dolls. Suisei Seki loves playing tricks on Jun and Hina Ichigo and also enjoys teasing and insulting them, nicknaming them ‘chibi ningen’ and ‘chibi ichigo’ respectively. In short, you could say that she really likes causing trouble and making life miserable for those 2. However sometimes her schemes backfires on her. But she isn’t 100% devious as seen, she loves her twin sister very much and would rather be with her than fight her to become Alice and see Father. Though this high pitch voiced character has 2 different eye colours (not to be mistaken as a production flaw) and provides most of the comical relief and slapstick humour in the series, at other times she is quite helpful and provides assistant to Shinku in her battles. She also ends most of her sentences with ‘desu’.
Doll number: 3
Medium: Nil at first, but in the 2nd season, she reluctantly and eventually makes a contract with Jun
Artificial spirit: Amethyst Dream
Weapon: A giant watercan which make plants emerge from the ground
Battles (selected): Vs Hina Ichigo & Jun (not a real battle actually. More like some petty squabble when Hina Ichigo accuses her of stealing her snack. Nobody wins in the end); Vs Sousei Seki (she had a fight with her twin when she doesn’t approve of that old man as her medium. But Suisei Seki ends up running away in tears); Vs Suigin Tou (at the end of the first season along with her twin, she tries to buy some time while Jun when off to find Shinku. She was temporarily defeated); Vs Bara Suishou (her first attempt on Bara Suishou manage to hand her a short term victory allowing her and the rest to escape Bara Suishou’s N-Field. At the end of the 2nd season, she lost to her when she was frozen while trying to protect Kanaria)
Flaw: Too short-fused and ‘wicked’
Sousei Seki
The more rational and reasonable twin of the Rozen Maiden dolls. But unlike her twin, Sousei Seki is generally a total opposite as she is towards more masculine in terms of character and speech. Besides, she is the only doll who wears a pair of shorts (no, Kanaria’s doesn’t count). She is more calm and quiet and tend not to ‘shoot the gun’ like her twin. Besides also having different sets of eye colour like her twin, Sousei Seki at times can be quite analytical about the situation which contributes to her sharpness. Her loyalty is causing her indecisiveness to choose between her master-cum-medium and Suisei Seki. Later in the second season, Sousei Seki has a vision whereby she saw Father weeping in pain and with a little persuasion from Bara Suishou, she decides to fight in the Alice Game, ignoring her twin sister’s plea to stop, and would even possibly defeat her if it’s by any means to meet Father.
Doll number: 4
Medium: An old watchmaker man named Shibasaki
Artificial Spirit: Renpika
Weapon: A giant scissors which she could use to slash and cut things in her path
Battles (selected): Vs Suisei Seki (when her twin doesn’t approve of her medium, she forcefully tries to take her away though Suisei Seki ended up running away herself); Vs Suigin Tou (in the first season, she along with Suisei Seki fought Suigin Tou to buy Jun some time in finding Shinku, though Sousei Seki temporarily lost. In the second season, she lost for real and her Rosa Mystica was taken); Vs Shinku (OVA – draw and unfinished)
Flaw: Too boyish and stubborn
Bara Suishou
Making her first appearance at the end of the 1st episode of the second season, Bara Suishou is actually a fake Rozen Maiden doll under the guise as the 7th and final Rozen Maiden doll, because the other dolls have never seen her before. She is the creation of Rozen’s jealous apprentice and is the main antagonist for much of the second season. Though her intention is to win the Alice Game, she is stil quite mysterious in the sense of her eerie and unnatural calmness. She shows no pity nor emotions to her opponents and seems to posses substantial amount of power, possibly more than the other dolls. Although in the end she won the Alice Game, she has crumbled and vanished due to her false disposition and her fate after which is unknown. Though she has an eyepatch, don’t mistake her for being a pirate doll!
Doll number: Depends how you want to view it. Initially she claims to be the 7th doll. But since she isn’t a genuine Rozen Maiden, she shouldn’t be in this list either. However, seeing that she’s a doll that somehow got involved in the Alice Game, you may want to consider as the 8th doll.
Medium: Unknown, though I felt it could be her maker Enju
Artificial spirit: Nil
Weapon: Able to produce large amount of solid crystals
Battles (selected): Vs Shinku, Suisei Seki, Sousei Seki, Kanaria and Hina Ichigo (when the other Rozen Maiden dolls stumbled upon Bara Suishou’s N-Field, a battle soon ensued after a puppet show display of Shinku disposing of everyone. Though she overwhelms the all of them, Suisei Seki’s power up allows the group to subdue Bara Suishou temporarily as they made their escape); Vs Shinku and Hina Ichigo (Bara Suishou unleashes a flurry of crystals as her opponents dodged her attack. But their match is discontinued when Suigin Tou defeats Sousei Seki, who later escaped and the rest withdraws); Vs Suisei Seki and Kanaria (she freezes Suisei Seki who tries to protect Kanaria and then uses a sharp crystal to stab Kanaria later on); Vs Suigin Tou (not a direct attack because as Shinku and Suigin Tou are at each other, Bara Suishou betrays Suigin Tou by firing several rounds of crystals into the latter’s back and defeats her); Vs Shinku (stabs Shinku when she was distracted by Jun and ultimately wins the Alice Game)
Flaw: A fake, evil
Making her appearance in episode 3 of the second season, at first Kanaria may seem to pose a threat to Shinku and friends but it turned out that Kanaria is more goofy than expected. Yeah, she talks big but when it comes to taking action, she’s somewhat incompetant in doing so. Like how she plans to infiltrate Jun’s house and take her other sister’s Rosa Mystica. But we see her most of the time spying with her binoculars from outside the house and any her attempts to enter the house always seemed futile. And it’s the umpteenth time that she got and it was just a fluke shot. Although she’s quite goofy and at times bear the consequences of unfortunate events, Kanaria’s quite eccentric and eventually she becomes part of Shinku’s circle. Of course even so, the others don’t really look up to her nor do they have much confidence in her abilities and even during battles, they will tell her to stay away and not interfere. I suppose this would make anyone pissed off. Of course she won’t take it just like that and is determined to prove her worth. She likes ending her sentences with ‘kashira’ and is sometimes seen to carry a little yellow umbrella around.
Doll number: 2
Medium: Mi-chan
Artificial spirit: Pizzicato
Weapon: Playing her violin emits destructive sound waves
Battles (selected): Vs Suisei Seki (okay, not really a real battle. But Kanaria comes face to face with Suisei Seki outside the toilet. She uses her water gun to shoot at Suisei Seki, soaking her letter. But nobody wins when Jun unexpectedly slams the door on both of them); Vs Shinku, Hina Ichigo, Suisei Seki and Sousei Seki (Kanaria decides to be serious and obtain the Rosa Mysticas and launches an attack on the gang but falls short when Shinku comes up to her and slaps her before telling her to clean up the mess. You can say she lost); Vs Bara Suishou (in an attempt to protect Suisei Seki’s Rosa Mystica, Kanaria managed to rip off 1 of Bara Suishou’s arms before the latter stabs her with her crystal. Kanaria lost)
Flaw: Too goofy
The true and actual 7th Rozen Maiden doll which only made her very brief and short appearance at the end of the final episode of the second season. Because of that, much of her details remain very much unknown in the anime. I’m speculating that Kirakishou is the model that inspired Enju to create Bara Suishou since they both look almost similar. However a distinctive physical difference is that Kirakishou has a white rose as her right eye rather than Bara Suishou’s eyepatch.
Doll number: 7
Medium: Unknown and possibly nil
Artificial spirit: Unknown and possibly nil
Weapon: Unknown
Battles: None (What do you expect of making just a brief one off appearance)
Flaw: Can only exist in the N-Field. Because of this, I’m thinking how in the world Rozen ever created her since she’s unable to materialize her physical body in the real world. But maybe all that’s explained in the manga, which of course, I don’t read lah.
So if you’ve been reading my previous blog on this anime, you’ll know that my favourite doll is still Suigin Tou. She still is. Perhaps it would’ve been more fun if there had been more Rozen Maiden dolls. Then at least they could’ve done a battle royale style slugfest. But that would be very unlady-like, would’nt it? Yeah, it would be overcrowded at the same time too. Hopefully, they should realize that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that no one doll is perfect. Their flaws is what gives them their unique personality and I think each of them in their own right are their own Alice.

Pia Carrot 2 DX

August 17, 2007

Based on a computer dating simulation game in the mid 90’s, Pia Carrot 2 DX is another one of those games to have made a crossover to the anime side. Since there are several sequels for the pc game, there are also several OVAs and a movie for this anime series as well. So this particular one is actually the 3rd sequel because the 2nd one is without the DX title. Or maybe it’s just an extension as I’m thinking DX may stand for deluxe. However, this is the only Pia Carrot series that I’ve watched.
As a typical OVA, this series has only 6 episodes with approximately 30 minutes of service time, I mean air time. Like most Japanese dating simulation games, this is another one of your usual harem animes. Sort of. This time, the setting here is a restaurant called Pia Carrot. According to the game, there are several outlets and chains of the Pia Carrot restaurant and this particular series focuses on 1 of them.
Since it’s a restaurant themed anime, you’re expecting lots of pretty waitresses in sexy and revealing outfits, right? Well, not so revealing as to what I can see. It’s pretty decent though the skirt may be short (but not that short). But other than that, what else is there to see in this comedy-cum-romance anime? Let’s find out, shall we?
Episode 1
This episode opens with a Pia Carrot girl, Tsukasa Enomoto, in a witch outfit doing her delivery through the streets. No, that witch costume isn’t the Pia Carrot’s uniform. But Tsukasa is a cosplay maniac as you’ll find out. Then another girl, a would-be staff of Pia Carrot, Azusa Hinomori is seen rushing somewhere and she and Tsukasa cross paths.
Meanwhile, high school goer Kouji Maeda and his best pal Shinji Yano are walking back after school as Kouji asks Shinji about his summer part time job. Though he says he has hand in his application but I’m not sure for what. And they’re still talking about it at the park. While they’re at it, they saw Tsukasa riding down the stairs railing and it seems she’s lost and can’t find her delivery place. Also since it’s hot, she took off her witch costume. Don’t worry, she isn’t naked. Beneath that outfit reveals a Pia Carrot waitress uniform. Kouji saw how cute that girl is in that uniform as Tsukasa goes off in a hurry. Because Kouji is drreaming, drooling and still saying how sexy that outfit is, Shinji tells him that it’s a Pia Carrot uniform.
Back at Pia Carrot HQ, Tsukasa is fixing her witch costume cape but she cut too much of it. Then another Pia Carrot staff, your typical brute and crude gal, Miki the kitchen cook, is angry that the vegetable delivery guy, Koutarou Dainimotsu, hasn’t arrive with her vegies yet. Miki saw Tsukasa and asked what’s wrong. Tsukasa delighted in seeing Miki and says that she’s just what she needed. Koutarou finally arrives and quickly rushes in with the vegies. But he got scared when he saw Miki using her superb chopping skills to precisely cut Tsukasa’s cape and says how she’ll punish Koutarou when he arrives. Don’t mess with this gal. Koutarou quietly left the vegetables there and slowly sneaks out. But Tsukasa soon rushes out when Miki mentions that there’s someone worrying about her in the hall.
At the cashier, Aoi Minase, is making a bet with Ryoko Futaba, the manager of this chain, if Tsukasa will come back in time. Of course Ryoko says that it isn’t right to make her employees as bet subjects, much to Aoi’s disappointment. Just then, Tsukasa comes in and says her delivery’s complete. Aoi seems relieved that she didn’t make the bet. She could’ve lost embarrassingly. While all this is happening, Kouji is staring from outside the window and saying how cute is everything and decides that he’s gonna work here as his summer part time job. Uh-huh, some bragging about destiny and such crap when Azusa crashes into him because she’s running late for some job interview. In the process, Azusa also drops her pendant. Kouji’s got 1 of his hands on Azusa’s breasts (not on purpose) and when Azusa realized what’s happening, she slaps him, just like any other girl would. Kouji picks up the pendant which says "Looking for someone". To Azusa’s embarrassment, she snatches it back but not without Kouji teasing her after that. Since Azusa isn’t the one who would take such mocking easily, she gets mad and calls him a pervert. As the 2 started arguing, they attracted a crowd of busybodies. Those people have nothing else better to do than to watch them argue.
Shinji intercepts and drags Kouji away. Well, the crowd seem disappointed as they disperse. Yeah, really got nothing better to do. Another Pia Carrot staff, Mina, who’s Azusa’s little sister, is watering some plants when she spots her sis outside. Looks like Azusa didn’t make the cut in her whatever job applicant because her interviewer called her on her handphone and hangs up on her. Nobody likes to be kept waiting. Mina greets her and finds out Azusa’s been fired again. And she’s not even employed yet! Obviously Mina mentions because she’s always late and suggests she work here. Plus, there’s an employee dorm nearby so getting to work late won’t be an issue. Azusa looks at her pendant and recalls that earlier incident with Kouji and gets annoyed. Mina’s confused on what’s going on but Azusa says it’s nothing.
Next day at pool amusement park, Kouji and Shinji are relaxing and as expected, Kouji is oogling at the girls there. Shinji spots Azusa from afar. Meanwhile it seems Tsukasa enjoys being in the spotlight as she’s having her pic being taken by several photo maniacs (or perverts rather) in her cosplay outfit. While Kouji spots her and remembers her as the witch he saw yesterday, Shinji walks towards Azusa. Kouji doesn’t know where he’s going and just continue to relax.
Ryoko is going over the applicants’ resume with Aoi relaxing nearby. When Ryoko mentions about potential candidates like Mina’s sis and a guy, Aoi gets all excited. Uh-huh. I think Aoi wants to flirt too as she asks Ryoko to hire that guy. Ryoko mentions that Shinji is her cousin and can only work once a week at Pia Carrot. Aoi looks at the ‘other guy’ and seems a little disappointed. Azusa seems to have a habit of being late. But it seems she’s lost and thinks she’ll be late for her interview again. Wait a minute. A job interview at the pool?
Back to Tsukasa, she’s doing her usual posing high on some diving platform and as usual those fans (it’s a much more nicer way of calling them) are taking her pics like mad. Just happily snapping away. As Tsukasa does her trademark pose by request of 1 of them, she slip and fell into the pool. Everyone doesn’t realize what’s happening and are still snapping away like crazy. They think it’s all part of her act. Can’t they tell that she’s drowning? Well, at least they realized it a little too late as 1 of them ‘wakes up’ Kouji by accidentally stepping on his face. An irritated Kouji asks what gives and that gu’s asking him for help. Kouji rushes there as Azusa spots him from a distance.
When Kouji arrives, the guy who went and asked him for help pushes him into the pool. What the? Don’t tell me they all can’t swim and are just standing there watching. Tsukasa is about to lose her consciousness but envisions and saw her ‘prince’ coming to save her. Kouji manages to pull Tsukasa out safely. When she comes to, she suddenly gets emotional, hugging him and crying. Kouji then saw Azusa watching from afar but the latter make donno and walk away. Tsukasa then realized what’s happening and pushes herself away from Kouji and runs away. You know, those fans of hers are really annoying. Because they continue to chase her and asks her to do more posing. Idiots. Shinji arrives and asks what Kouji had done to that girl. Kouji didn’t answer
The next day, Kouji’s late as he’s seen rushing somewhere while Koutarou seems happy because he’s got a lot of time and is thinking of taking a shortcut through the park. Koutarou gets the surprise of his life when Kouji suddenly ran across in front of him, casuing Koutarou to brake hard and fell off the bike as Kouji kept running. Now Koutarou’s gonna be late. Back at Pia Carrot, Tsukasa’s acting weird and spacing out when another employee, Kagurazaga, asks why is Tsukasa acting like that. Miki gives that ‘prince on a white horse’ at the pool reply.
Kouji finally arrives and is greeted by an unenergetic Tsukasa. That is, until she saw his face and suddenly blushes. Umm… She’s fantasizing about that prince thing again. No time to lose as Kouji says he’s late for a job interview and rushes in quickly. Tsukasa’s still daydreaming when Azusa too arrives shortly for her job interview. Kouji enters the interview room and Aoi says that he’ll have to pay for being late and have to live in the employee’s dorm and tells him not to be late again before asking Ryoko to hire him. She agrees and does so. Wait a minute. That easy? Or are they desparate? I guess as a part time waiter, it’s okay. Kouji’s relieved but the door opened hitting him and making him bang his head on the wall. It’s Azusa and she’s apologizing for being late. Aoi says how energetic she is and hires her straight away. Just like that too? Kouji and Azusa are surprised to see each other. With that, wee see Tsukasa saying "Welcome to Pia Carrot". Maybe she’s glad that her prince has come to her.
So you’d probably guess that the love-romance thing is gonna be between Kouji and Azusa. But since it’s not like they got it right the first time, you’ll be expecting lots of quarrels and misunderstood situations from the 2. And at the end, that hate turns into love. Or maybe it’s love all these while, just in a different form. Of course, there are other people who has a crush on these 2 and will put their uncanny relationship to the test. Read on…
Episode 2
Kouji is climbing up the stairs of the employees dorm slowly, gumbling, complaining. Maybe he could get there faster with all those heavy luggages if he stops complaining and channel all his energy getting there. Azusa on the contrary seems happy about moving in as she pushes her luggage cart, which whizzes by Kouji, who thought he’d seen a ghost. Because of that, he crashes down. Azusa saw him and says "Oh no, it’s that guy" before rushing off. Kouji awakens to be freaked out once more to see Tsukasa in her doggy suit. Well, that cosplay maniac says that it’s just her pyjamas. Soon, Tsukasa too rushes off and says something about some early shift tomorrow by Aoi. Kouji’s reflecting on that ghost incident and thinks he’s just seeing things. While saying that this dorm has weird things, Aoi then pops out of her room with her hangover feeling, shocking and surprising Kouji again, who thinks it’s yet another ghost. That’s the 3rd time already. Aoi wonders what’s going on as she heads back to her room toilet and saw her face pretty messed up with make-up and lipstick. Aoi screams as she thought she saw a ghost. Hahaha. That one is enough to even scare a ghost away.
Next morning at Pia Carrot, Aoi is deliriously happy telling Ryoko that the restaurant manager, Kinoshita, has invited her on a business trip. But Ryoko says that she’s actually substituting the boss for this trip. This shocks Aoi very much and realize that the boss isn’t coming with them on this trip. I see Aoi has a thing for the boss as well. Feeling disappointed, Aoi soon rushes off to make a schedule for the trip. Azusa’s serving a customer and much to her annoyance a male customer is oogling at her breasts even though his girlfriend is sitting next to him! Yeah, she pulled his ear in jealousy. Serves him right. While Azusa is complaining how revealing the uniform is and that the male customers are staring at her, Kouji makes a snickering comment. Azusa gives him ‘that look’ which makes Kouji look away and do something else. As Aoi calls Tsukasa to have a chat with her on the upcoming trip, Mina and Kagurazaga tells Kouji and Azusa that the company has business trips every year and everyone has to attend. Kouji and Azusa looked at each other and then look away with a "Hmmph!".
Next day Aoi is driving the bus with the whole jin jang gang aboard, even Koutarou, who’s happy that Kagurazaga’s here too (hint hint). We see Tsukasa sewing something and Kouji wants to see it but she refuses to let him see as it’s for some event. Kouji finds out the 3 guys will share a room right next to the outdoor bath and Kagurazaga seems a little worried but Koutarou seems happy. The bus suddenly brakes, causing Koutarou to band his head on the front windscreen. Aoi’s glad and assumes that Koutarou’s here to takeover and switches place with him. Poor guy. To add salt to the wounds, the rest are having a feast back there.
When they finally reach the place, it’s already evening and we see some romantic flashbacks (or is it daydreaming) of Aoi and Kinoshita. Ryoko comments how big Azusa’s suitcase is and Aoi quips that maybe it’s to buy her boyfriend stuffs. Azusa gets embarrassed and says she doesn’t have one which prompts Kouji into saying how he wants to see who’ll date her. Azusa just walked away and when Kouji saw her suitcase, he remembers that ghostly incident and realizes it all as he starts yelling at her. Azusa yells back and says why is he talking like that. Kouji wants an apology for making him fall downstairs but Azusa says something about his slow reaction as they both continue to argue. Miki comments how they look like a married couple which causes Tsukasa to be in a shock. Yup, Tsukasa’s got a crush on Kouji and she’s spacing out while watching those 2 who’re still arguing.
At night, Kouji invites the guys to an outdoor bath but Kagurazaga tells them to go ahead first when Mina arrives and tells them that Aoi’s calling them for a meeting. Aoi mentions that there’ll be a test of courage thingy. Mina asks what’s the connection between that with the business trip. Aoi replies by making an excuse something like one must have calmness when seeing a scary customer face, thus nurturing one’s mental power. I see. Miki is getting excited as Aoi elaborates that they have to go in pairs to a shrine to retrive something. The first one who does so gets a pair of free tickets to the amusement park, Lettuce Land.
As expected, Kouji and Azusa gets paired together and they freaked each other out and can’t believe they ended up being paired. As they’re still arguing, Kouji decides to play a prank and switches off his torchlight. Azusa gets a little panic and seems to ‘lost’ Kouji and tells him to stop whatever prank he’s pulling. Meanwhile, Miki and Kagurazaga are together and are talking about humans being scared. Kagurazaga then saw a ghost and gets a little scared, screams and soon faints. Miki manages to catch Kagurazaga but felt how soft her chest is. But when Kagurazaga comes to, they both calmed down and continue their journey. At this point, you’ll notice that Kagurazaga’s a girl disguised as a boy with all those subtle hints and his elusive actions. So nobody knows of this yet but I’ll still refer to Kagurazaga as a she.
Mina and Koutarou are being paired together and the latter seems to be quite afraid. Mina says she thought she saw something over there when a ghost appears as they both scream and faint. It’s revealed that the ghost is actually Tsukasa as she takes of the mask and wonders if she’s too scary before continuing to her next ‘victim’. Azusa’s still telling Kouji to stop and come out but the latter seems to be enjoying it. A hand then touched Kouji’s shoulders and asks what’s he doing. Kouji look back to see a ghost and naturally screams and run away. Azusa who happen to see Kouji’s ‘scary face’ also screams and run away. Back at the inn, Ryoko and Aoi commenting how Tsukasa’s doing a great job as they’re sipping their beer away.
Kouji and Azusa arrived at the shrine with the former retelling that ghostly experience. She says he’s being too pushy while he says who’s the one being scared without him. Azusa realized that Kouji’s been hiding so that he could fool her. Kouji mentions that he just wanted to see her act more like a girl. With that, Azusa’s taken aback with those words and they stop arguing and picks up that thingy at the shrine, which is a menu from Pia Carrot, much to Kouji’s dismay. Is he expecting something more? Kouji then saw a ghost behind Azusa and as Azusa turned around and look, her fear causes her to run towards Kouji and cling on to him. Tsukasa saw what happened and spaces out as the 2 hug each other in fear. When they realized that the ghost is actually Tsukasa, she looks sad before running away in tears. Of course both of them don’t know why she’s acting like that but soon gets embarrassed when they realized that they’re hugging each other. Meanwhile, Mina is carrying Koutarou (who’s fainted) back. How unmanly.
The next day on their way back in the bus, Aoi explains that she had planned the whole thing and announces Kouji and Azusa as the winners. Koutarou, at the wheel, lamenting how envious he is when Aoi says how he was being carried back by Mina, much to his embarrassment as everyone laughs. Ryoko quips that the next time they’ll leave all the heavy loads to Mina for her to carry. But not everyone is laughing as we see Tsukasa spacing out and looking gloomy when she sees Kouji happily talking away with the others.
Episode 3
Kouji’s complaining that he’s gotta do vegetable delivery when he saw a group of photographers taking photos of Tsukasa in her cosplay outfit. He overhears some jealous ladies talking about how Tsukasa may not win tomorrow’s cosplay contest because she’s in a slump. It looks like Tsukasa’s a little clumsy too. When they saw that, those jealous ladies seem a little happy now that they’ve got a chance to beat Tsukasa in tomorrow’s contest. Soon it’s going to rain when Koutarou announces that the rehearsal’s over and she’s to get ready for tomorrow. The photographers too leave in high spirits.
The next day, Tsukasa’s looking unenergetic at Pia Carrot. Aoi notices this and wonders what’s wrong. Kagurazaga mentions about tomorrow’s cosplay contest and therefore Tsukasa may feel nervous. But Miki replies that it may be the prince on white horse thingy. Aoi thinking for sure that they’re both in love, Tsukasa and Kouji. But she’s just got a hunch and speculating. Not that she’s really sure of it. The other Pia Carrot staff are in the kitchen making lots of preparation for tomorrow’s party. Kouji learns from Mina that it’s the latter parent’s death anniversary, thus Azusa has gone to the graves. Is that a guilty look on Kouji’s face?
We see Azusa back home spacing out and lying on her bed when Kouji knocks on her door. Azusa isn’t surprised though as Kouji’s nervously trying to say how nice her pendant is and such. In short, he’s trying to apologize. Azusa isn’t amused and she gave him some lecturing before she closes the door. Before she could to do, Kouji decides to give her the tickets to Lettuce Land. The reason why Kouji’s acting all nice is because he found out from Mina about their parent’s death which caused Azusa to be lonely, bla bla bla. But Azusa said she doesn’t want to go with him though Kouji mentions she could bring along Mina with her. Azusa mentions how Mina is afraid of roller coaster and crowds which soon pisses off Kouji that his kindness isn’t accepted. Before you know it, the 2 started squabbling. Ryoko arrives to ask them what in the world are they making a racket at this time, in the middle of the night. Ryoko also mentions that everything about the party has to be ready before it starts at 2pm and tells them not to be late. Of course they both had to listen to the manager as Ryoko soon walks away. Kouji then quickly asks Azusa to take the tickets but Azusa still insists. With the 2 being loggerheads with each other, Kouji just dropped the ticket in front of Azusa’s doorstep and walked away while Azusa just closed her door.
At the rooftop, Kouji spots a depressed Tsukasa sitting all alone. Tsukasa is surprised to see him and then a flashback of that Kouji and Azusa hugging each other incident. As Kouji tries to strike a conversation, Tsukasa fantasizes him as her prince taking her away on a white horse. Her daydreaming is interrupted when Kouji compliments on her rehearsal today and with lots of words of encouragement. More of that daydreaming before Tsukasa says she wants to show Kouji something.
Azusa is looking at her pendant and wonders why Kouji came to her like this suddenly. Another flashback of that hugging incident. Azusa then reflects what she had said to Kouji earlier on. She feels a bit bad and guilty and opens her door to find the ticket lying there. She picks it up and head towards Kouji’s room. Though she’s in front of his door, she’s contemplating and rehearsing of what to say when the elevator door opens. Azusa saw Kouji coming out with Tsukasa and the 2 looked happy and laughing together as the duo head into Tsukasa’s room. Azusa then felt shocked and a little sad. She must’ve feelings for Kouji but doesn’t realize it yet.
The next day it’s raining and preparations are on the way for the wedding party. As Kouji’s yawning, Azusa’s wondering why when Mina asks her what’s wrong. Azusa replies that it’s nothing and tells her little sis not to get close to that Kouji pervert. Aoi receives a phone call saying today’s party is cancelled. The reason being the girl that’s supposed to get married suddenly ran off with another man! Uh-huh. Everyone is a little disappointed, not so much because of the runaway bride, but all their efforts in the preparations will be wasted. But Kouji is happy because he gets to go cheer Tsukasa on her cosplay contest. With that, Aoi suggests that they all too go and cheer on for Tsukasa. Shinji soon rushes into Pia Carrot and Ryoko tells her staff that Shinji’s in charge of the cosplay contest and wonders if he could hold the cosplay contest here instead as it’s raining outside. Kouji is surprised to find Shinji doing this. While Aoi as usual thinks how cute Shinji is, Shini leaves to gather everyone else. With that, Ryoko mentions how lucky they are and that their preparations won’t go to waste.
As the cosplay contest is in session, you could spot several Di Gi Charat characters making their cameo appearances. Those characters must be famous, making such appearances in several animes. As expected, the arrival of Tsukasa is being greeted with those photographers snapping away like crazy. Everybody loves her. Those jealous ladies can’t believe that she’s so energetic today. Kouji learns why Shinji could only do this part time job once a week as Shinji says that he’s got a nice cousin to rely on. Also, Koutarou seems to be the emcee for the event as Kouji too finds out why he had to do the vegetable delivery. Shinji says that Koutarou is the other guy in charge. As Koutarou introduces to contestants, the Pia Carrot staff cheered on Tsukasa when it’s her turn on stage. Shinji is a little surprised that Kouji’s into cosplay but Kouji says just a little only. Azusa’s spacing out when she watches Kouji who’s really into it.
The contestants strut their stuffs on stage, even Dejiko! Nyo! In the end, Koutarou announces the results and it’s clear that Tsukasa wins the Cosplay Queen title. Everyone rejoices. Miki swings her butcher knives in joy, almost slicing Shinji. Close shave. Tsukasa is quite happy and gets even happier when she saw Kouji giving her the thumbs up. And in Azusa’s mind, though she congratulates Tsukasa, but can’t help wondering what happened the previous night.
Episode 4
Azusa is having a dream about her parents giving her the pendant as her present. When her parents left home, Azusa tried to chase after them, saying they forgot something. The scene changes as she saw herself crying at hospital and saw a young Mina asking what’s going on. Azusa is then awakened by Mina’s call as the latter scorns her for waking up late. Mina explains about the Autumn Gourmet Fair, that’s why they have to get up early and do some preparations. Azusa sapces out when she looks at her pendant.
At school, Shinji finds out that Kouji’s still doing his part time job. Kouji says that Ryoko didn’t know what to do without him and brags how the girls idolize him (yeah right). But Shinji isn’t that dumb and says Kouji might’ve broke too many plates so much so he can’t stop his job, which is true. We see some flashback of Kouji dropping the plates and Aoi extending his period, seconded by Ryoko. As the 2 walk home, Kouji says he’s late for work and rushes in. Don’t be too hasty because he just broke another plate. Azusa saw Shinji and recognizes him as that cosplay manager. She asks if he’s Kouji friend. Shinji apologizes for anything Kouji has done wrongly on her. Azusa says it isn’t like that and quips that he seems like Kouji’s guardian. So the 2 seemed quite friendly as they both chat more on about Kouji.
Kouji is in a hurry getting dressed when he bumps into a girl, Rumi Kinoshita. Though Kouji rushes off in a hurry, Rumi stops him and says things like his shirt isn’t tucked in. Yup, she does some ‘sprucing up’ on him and quotes "That’s how a waiter should look". Then she just waves goodbye and says "See ya". Luckily Kouji manages to get her name and finds out that she’s supposed to help with the upcoming fair. After she’s gone, Kouji thinks how cute she is. Every girl is cute to him.
Aoi unenergetically and depressingly welcomes her customers and seating them. She’s not concentrating so much so she mix things up. Rumi suddenly enters in time to take care of things. She seems lively, energetic, full of passion and knows her stuff very well as the others looked on impressed. Tsukasa tells Kouji that Rumi was last years Cosplay Queen but retired this year. He also finds out that Aoi’s depressed because the boss is getting married and Rumi is the boss’s younger sister. So much for any chance to flirt with him. Kouji then gets excited while Azusa and Tsukasa looked a little surprised.
At the dorm, the gang are having their meal together. Aoi is drunk and is still all upset about it. Dangerous. She’s in a mood swing. Kouji is sleeping next the them as Mina covers him with a blanket. They notice Rumi isn’t here yet as Miki suggests that she may be on a date. Aoi is still talking about wedding dresses and marriage, which should’ve been hers as she’s crying the next minute. Miki then asks Tsukasa if she has a wedding dress which the latter replied yes. Soon the girls head over to Tsukasa’s room. While Kouji’s asleep, he’s talking in his sleep "Looking for someone", then snickers. Azusa notices this and gets a little annoyed. She takes away the blanket and wishes for him to catch a cold. Is this acceptable even if that guy’s a jerk? Meantime, Rumi is lost, the reason for her delay but she manages to find the place in time.
The girls are now in Tsukasa’s closet and Azusa is admiring her extensive cosplay collection. Aoi wears a wedding dress as Kagurazaga explains to Azusa how everyone choose costumes before the cosplay contest. Azusa thinking back about the time where Kouji and Tsukasa came out from the elevator together. She’s feeling guilty that she had misinterpreted the situation. At the same time, Kouji wakes up with a little cold and finds no one around. Rumi arrives and Kouji is a little surprised to see her. Rumi asks if the party’s over. Soon Kouji and Rumi took a walk and had a little chat. Rumi reveals that the map her brother gave is confusing, causing her to get lost (not that scram, get out meaning lah!). Rumi thanks Kouji for walking her to the station as they see the illuminating lights of Lettuce Land at a distance. Kouji asks if she likes amusement parks, which she says she does and asks him to take her there next time. Rumi then peck his cheeks before running off and saying how she’s really looking forward to see him next week. Does Rumi have a crush on Kouji? Well not to say that she really does. It’s more like she’s the friendly kind of girl.
Azusa is sitting alone in her room when Kouji comes knocking on her door. She’s apologizing for making him catch a cold though Kouji isn’t sure what she’s talking about. Kouji nervously asks her if she still has those tickets to Lettuce Land he gave her, which she says yes. You know it’s going to be one of those situations whereby they could hear their heartbeat thumping when they stare at each other for so long and blushing. Azusa asks him if he wants to go and when in which Kouji replies on their next day off. Some shy shy talk before they bid each other goodbye and wonder what’s this pain in their chest. It’s called love.
Next day at Pia Carrot, Azusa and Kouji bumped into each other but they’re more apologetic to each other and didn’t get into an argument. Aoi is feeling something strange about those 2 when she suddenly gets headache from last night’s hangover. At Lettuce Land, Kouji and Azusa are having fun together. If you look closely, you could see cameo appearances of Rabien Rose and Puchiko from Di Gi Charat. It’s evening and our 2 lovebirds are riding in a ferris wheel. Kouji asks about pendant and apologizes for saying weird things. Azusa doesn’t mind and that she said the same things to her parents back then. Some more flashbacks of her parents. Then on the ground, Azusa apologizes for crying for a stupid reason but Kouji says it’s okay. Azusa lifts her gloominess herself and says she shouldn’t be a crybaby.
She then decides to go get some ice cream. I think they both really like each other by now because Azusa’s making her hand like a gun and ‘shoots’ at Kouji and he pretends to get shot in the heart. The signs of love? While Azusa’s away, Rumi spots Kouji and calls him. Kouji asks why she’s here. She replies that it’s a coincidence and pecks him on the cheek. That kiss comes with an explanation that since she wanted to come here so badly and couldn’t wait, she begged her brother to bring her here today and says the next time will be waiting for Kouji to take her. She then bid him goodbye and rushes off. Unknown to Kouji, Azusa has seen the whole thing as the cream of the ice cream drops to the ground (your typical cliche of someone who has witnessed something so shocking). Well, that’s just 1 cream. The other one, Azusa used it to throw it at Kouji’s face. Though he tries to explain, Azusa just laughed and says that if he’s gonna go with 2 girls, then he should do it better. With that she storms off, feeling a little sad as Kouji stood there in total shock.
So all that lovey-dovey feelings just went down the drain just like that. By the way, this is the only episode in which Rumi will appear in this series. After this, who knows where she’s gone to. And I suppose having her appearance in the opening credits is just for show. Just kidding.
Episode 5
Aoi is still depressed and not over the fact that Kinoshita is getting married. It’s back to normal between Azusa and Kouji as the former chides the latter for putting the wrong orders to the wrong tables. Though Kouji says the customer seem quite happy and doesn’t mind, soon the usual arguement ensue like Azusa calling him a womaniser and there’s a long beeeeep in those sentences of theirs. Oh my, that’s not good for customers to hear. So while they’re at it, Aoi, Miki, Mina and Kagurazaga are chatting about Christmas is only 10 days away and Aoi’s thinking she should find someone new to date, so does Kagurazaga as she says even though it’s a play. Of course everyone else doesn’t know what Kagaurazaga’s talking about.
Koutarou, who’s as usual late, rushes into Pia Carrot, trips and drops his load of veggies in front of Miki, who’s upset that the veggies are ruined. But Koutarou says that there’s a bigger problem and that’s Tsukasa has been sent to hospital in an ambulance. Everyone is in shock. We then see the accident spot whereby a truck has crashed into a post and Tsukasa taken away in a stretcher as onlookers watched. Koutarou explains he followed the ambulance and saw Tsukasa taken to the emergency room. Aoi suggests everyone to go but Ryoko says that since there are lots of customers, it’ll be troublesome if everyone goes together and have to take turns.
So in the train, Kouji, Azusa and Koutarou went ahead. Kouji’s wondering how he ended up like this. Before you know it, the 2 started arguing. Koutarou’s observing them and thinks how similar the 2 are. They both told him off not to say anything and continued arguing. Azusa later says that they shouldn’t be arguing like this and wonders if Tsukasa’s okay. Kouji hopes so too. At the hospital, Koutarou asks Azusa if she has a handphone she should turn it off, which she does. Then a flashback of what really happened to Tsukasa. She was doing her delivery and a truck driver was having his lunch when his truck suddenly rolled downhill. The truck driver realized too late as he tries to chase for it but it’s heading straight for Tsukasa at the junction. Too late, truck hits the post as Tsukasa who’s walking ahead of the truck looked back to see what happened. The truck driver crying next to his truck. Suddenly, Tsukasa got stomach pains and the truck driver rushes to her side and asks what’s wrong before calling the ambulance.
Back at the hospital, the gang are relieved to find out Tsukasa isn’t involved in the accident but instead she just had appendix and the surgery was successful. Soon the gang at Pia Carrot learn about this from Azusa’s call and are also relieved. Shinji arrives at the hospital when he spots Azusa and calls her. As Koutarou’s leaving, he saw them talking quite friendly together and jumps to a conclusion that the 2 may be lovers. Then we see Kouji and Tsukasa together as the latter gives Kouji a key and asks him to keep it a secret from everyone else. Kouji promises he would as they made a yubikiri. All in good timing, Azusa comes in to see that and is a little surprised and is spacing out. I thought she started hating this guy again? Maybe not. Shinji comes in too but Azusa leaves in a hurry as they wonder what’s going on.
At the river bank, Shinji saw Azusa sitting alone there. He approaches her and gives her his coat so that she doesn’t catch a cold. With that, the 2 started walking at the same time it started snowing. Meanwhile, Kouji is sneaking into Tsukasa’s room nervously. What’s he up to. But the next day after school, Shinji asks why Kouji is carrying such a big bag. Kouji replies he needs to bring it to someone and some talk about secrets. Because of his slip of tongue, Kouji mentions about the stuffs to Tsukasa. He realized it too late but Shinji just walked on. Kouji’s wondering with his attitude. Koutarou then shows up from nowhere and says something about that girlfriend thing. Kouji says that Shinji doesn’t have 1 but Koutarou tells him that he saw Shinji and Azusa at the hospital together, much to Kouji’s shock.
Kouji is observing how happy Azusa is back at Pia Carrot so much so he isn’t concentrating on his job. Kagurazaga then comes along and mentions how Azusa came back last night with a guy’s coat. Aoi (like instigating) says how suspicious all this is to Kouji. Kouji then reflects on what Koutarou said earlier on. Later Kouji is seen chatting with Tsukasa in her hospital room. At the same time, Azusa receives a phone call from Shinji saying that he’s caught a cold. Azusa feels guilty and feels that it’s her fault and decides to go visit him. Looks like that busybody Aoi is eavesdropping on the conversation. At Shinji’s place, Azusa apologizes for taking his coat as the 2 chat while Shinji rests in his bed. We find out Shinji’s used to living alone since his parents are abroad and how he’s glad Azusa’s here. Azusa blushes. Shinji smells something burning and Azusa realized that her porridge is ruined.
Next day at Pia Carrot, Aoi is wondering why Kouji and Azusa are so happy when Kagurazaga mentions that it may be Christmas spirit. But Aoi is sceptical and sense something weird. Miki tells them that they come home at midnight for several days but not together. With that Aoi says "That’s an unexpected turn". Do these busybodies have no life and nothing else better to do? At the hospital, Kouji is helping Tsukasa sewing some clothes and at Shinji’s home, Azusa is keeping him company and nursing his cold. Soon a Christmas themed Pia Carrot as everyone celebrates. Tsukasa is out of hospital and is in a Santarina cosplay outfit and Kouji as her reindeer. The 2 are quite lively, getting into the mood of Christmas spirit and livening up the place. Shinji arrives and is greeted by a blushing Azusa. His cold is gone too and he mentions how Kouji and Tsukasa looked good together. You know, I’ve got a feeling that when they mention about somebody being with someone else, that character gets concerned and into a spacing out mode. That’s what happened to Azusa. More spacing out from her as Shinji wishes "Merry Christmas".
Episode 6
Azusa and Shinji are together at an aquarium. Are these 2 dating? Anyway, Azusa mentions how a hammerhead shark looked so much like Kouji and Shinji replies that it’s the face of Kouji when he’s in trouble. It seems Kouji and Tsukasa too are at the aquarium. Are they dating as well? Kouji hears a familiar voice and gets freaked out by a giant whale. He comments how that looked like Azusa. Birds of the same feather flock together. As usual when Azusa and Shinji are chatting, Azusa spaces out whenever Shinji mentions Kouji’s name. Haih.
At Pia Carrot, the gang learns that Kagurazaga manage to get a main part in a play so she decides to leave first for her rehearsal. As Kagurazaga gets herself into a room to change her dress, Koutarou spots Kagurazaga and blushes. He’s having a bouquet of flowers in hand and is dressed quite smartly. Furthermore, he’s saying how he’ll do it today. Must be a confession. Though Koutarou’s nervous, Kouji rushes in and nearly crashes into him. Of course Kouji’s surprised by Koutarou’s dressing and asks him why but the latter says nothing. Kouji then uses a skeleton key to open the locked door. When the 2 guys fell through, they saw Kagurazaga changing and realized that he is a she! Kagurazaga screams as the 2 look on in shock rather than oogling at her body. So Kagurazaga doesn’t have enough time to put on some clothes and temporarily hides in a locker.
Meanwhile Aoi notes how late is Kouji and Ryoko thinks she should fine him. Tsukasa panics a little and says she’ll go look for him. Oh no. Azusa still spacing out. Aoi adds that if Kouji doesn’t show up, soon her plans to buy chocolates for Valentine’s Day is in jeopardy. When Ryoko asks Aoi if she had already found a new boyfriend, Aoi says maybe, which causes Azusa to space out even further. Haih. So Kouji and Koutarou learns that Kagurazaga’s pretending to be a boy for a play because she’s playing a role as a girl who tries to save her country as a man. Reminds you of Mulan, doesn’t it? So Kagurazaga thought she’d practice it in real life and apologizes for any misconceptions. Yeah, Koutarou’s crying. I realized that this guy’s a gay. No wonder he’s so happy previously when things involved Kagurazaga. Tsukasa’s eavesdropping their conversation when Kouji says how he’ll cheer her on and wishes her all the best. Tsukasa thinks that Kouji does that to any girl who work hard.
Later, Koutarou’s on a bridge. Still crying and ripping his love letter apart. Love hurts pal. He gets shaken a little when Miki passes by and yells what he’s doing. This causes Koutarou to fall off the bridge. Shinji arrives too late to stop him from falling. Later after Koutarou is out of the river and is drying his clothes, he explains to them about Kagurazaga. Miki says that since Kagurazaga isn’t a guy, that’s why he’s heartbroken. Shinji asks if that’s the reason for him to commit suicide. Koutarou say it isn’t the case as it’s Miki’s voice which scared him. Besides, the river’s too shallow for anyone to drown. Miki then remembers the test of courage incident when she grabbed Kagurazaga by her chest. After some talk, it seems Koutarou may be trying to hit on Shinji. Better back off Shinji. Then they saw Tsukasa over the bridge. Tsukasa tells them about what Kouji said earlier on and Miki replies the Kouji leans towards the "I’m nice to every girl" thing but there’s 1 exception, which is Azusa. Tsukasa gets very worried and spaced out. Miki continues that how they’re like enemies and always fighting but now he’s acting strange being nice to her. Koutarou chips in to say that maybe that’s his real love. Shinji and Tsukasa getting even more worried as Miki and Koutarou went on with their ‘analysis’. While they’re at it, Shinji and Tsukasa are still spacing out. Hello…
At Pia Carrot, Kouji and Azusa simultaneously thinking of refiling a customer’s coffee when their hands touched. Aoi mentioning how weird and it’s getting on her nerves. Is she more interested in the drama between those 2 than working? Anyway, Kouji and Azusa have a little chat, shy shy, blush blush, weird laughter, talking about that aquarium thingy. Yeah, it’s really getting on my nerves. So much so their talking and action are somewhat ‘synchronized’. With Aoi, Miki and Mina watching, Miki’s saying how this is the end of the world. It’ll be the end for them if they don’t get back to work. Tsukasa spacing out when she looks at the 2 being so friendly.
Next day, Kouji and Tsukasa just came out from a cinema. Tsukasa’s saying how moved she was while Kouji just kept yawning and thinking he would probably enjoy that Rambo one next door. They saw Shinji and Azusa coming out of the same cinema as well. Shinji, just like Tsukasa, is saying how moved he was too while Azusa, just like Kouji, kept yawning and also thinks she’d enjoyed that Rambo one. But Azusa pretends to tell Shinji how good the movie, the character, etc was. So the 2 couples eventually met. Shinji and Tsukasa seems to click when they talked about the movie, their expressions and thoughts about it. Shinji then mocks Kouji how he’d probably doesn’t know how to appreciate such movies and would prefer that violent B-grade Rambo one. Kouji and Azusa feeling a little annoyed. Birds of the same feather… Shinji then suggests a double date to Lettuce Land on their next day off. It seems Shinji’s parents have left him several tickets to make up for their time abroad. Shinji gives a pair of tickets to Kouji and whispers to him that he plans to confess to Azusa there and tells him to do the same to Tsukasa.
While Shinji is walking Azusa home, she’s looking at the bright lights of Lettuce Land and has those flashbacks of moments with Kouji back then. Shinji asks what’s wrong as he ‘breaks’ her flashback. Azusa just apologized and say that she has bad memories of Lettuce Land but also have important ones and wants to leave it there. Shinji then realized and is in a little shock as Azusa ran off apologizing. So we know who’s heart Azusa’s belong to. Likewise Kouji and Tsukasa are on a swing at a park. He too has flashbacks just like Azusa’s. Tsukasa’s a little worried when she looks at him and goes on to say how wonderful Kagurazaga is that she has worked so hard to achieve her dream. Thus she has to try her best too as there’s an international cosplay contest and asks Kouji to come cheer for her again. Kouji energetically says he will. Then Tsukasa says he must also try his best as she salutes him before rushing off. Kouji realized a bit as he tries to chase her but Tsukasa’s already gone. Looks like Tsukasa has given up the fight as well.
Next day at school, Kouji is being punched by Shinji. Is it jealousy? Nope. Don’t jump to conclusions yet. Kouji would of course asks what gives. Shinji replies that he decided to confess to Azusa by letter. Kouji wonders what has it got to do with punching him. Shinji remarks how dumb he is, that he should stop running away from it and be honest with his feelings and then asks him to deliver the letter on his behalf to Azusa. Shinji then opens his shoe locker and tons of gifts come falling out of it. I guess this guy’s got lots of admirers and he doesn’t mind it.
At Pia Carrot, Kouji’s at the front door when Azusa comes by. So the 2 talk with Kouji passing that letter. Azusa gets a little spaced out and some flashback of those words said by Shinji and Tsukasa. As Azusa’s reading the letter, Kouji then says he’s got something to say to her. Azusa too has something to say to him and in the end, they both simultaneously say "I love you" as they embraced each other and kissed. By the way, if you’re wondering what the letter says, the final scene shows the letter "Don’t lie to your true feelings. Good luck Azusa. P.S.,  By the way, I think the face of the guy in front of you is a bit swollen so forgive me about that". See, Shinji’s a good guy after all. He doesn’t want to snatch away the only girl that his best pal has.
The end. Please come again.
So as typically expected, our 2 protagonist finally realized their love for each other and admitted it, embrace and kissed. I expected that too. Is this what you call give and take? Since it’s the end for this series, but I suppose it’s just the beginning for them. What really happen to the other staff of Pia Carrot? My guess is that they all continue their normal lives serving customers and probably will look forward to Kouji-Azusa as the new hot item on their menu. Speaking of which, the characters are just sufficient for this series.
Since this is a year 1999 production, the anime’s drawing, art and colouring would of course looked old-school as it’s from that era. So even though you have bishies and cute waitress girls but the dull and ‘worn out’ colouring make it look less appealing. Probably that’s because I’ve seen too many recent and high quality animes. But it’s not to say that this anime is that bad. It’s just okay for me.
The titles of the episode have some sort of a dessert in the name of love in it, which is quite appropriate for a restaurant themed anime. Okay, maybe except for the last episode. Minami Nagasaki, the voice actress for Azusa, sings both the opening and several ending themes of the series, though I don’t find them appealing. One thing I realized after the series end is that, this series doesn’t have any hentai or ecchi element in it unlike it’s game version or earlier series. At least, nothing that I could consider it to be one.
If you like short teenager romantic series with some drama, then this one is quite okay if you’re not too fussy. The next time you patron a Pia Carrot restaurant chain (if ever there’s one. But there’re several maid cafes and such in Japan), be sure to enjoy more than just your meal. Because there’s live love drama going on as well. You may get your money’s worth and probably more than what you’ve bargained for. Isn’t that value for money?


August 11, 2007

When we were younger and smaller, I suppose we all have that best childhood friend whom we played and shared our times with. Then of course, the parents have to move away to some other place resulting in the inseparable friends becoming separated. It all sounds too familiar doesn’t it. Well, at least that’s the setting for the series Tonagura.
This is another one of your typical teenage drama-romance-comedy drama but with a little hint of ecchi in it. Okay, maybe not just a hint or a pinch. But it’s enough to give some fanservice, if you know what I mean. You could already guessed it when the opening credits start rolling. Yup, with the wind blowing through her skirt, you could take a little peek at her pure white panties… I’m not drooling, okay. Of course any embarrassed girl would quickly flip it back down.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves nor shall we let our imaginations run wild after that. In this 13 episode series, basically we have this cute high school going girl Kazuki Arisaka. She’s feeling quite excited because her childhood friend, Yuuji Kagura, whom she has not seen for 10 years, is going to move back as their neighbours soon as seen in episode 1. Kazuki is having high hopes and anticipation about Yuuji’s return and dreams that Yuuji has grown up to be a handsome knight in shining armour or her ideal prince charming.
Her enthusiast and streak of good luck at school has been noticed by her best pal, Chihaya Suzuhara, and asks her about her unusual genki mood. Kazuki explains which causes Chihaya to snatch Kazuki’s purse to have a look at Kazuki’s potential ‘boyfriend’. From first looks, you’d guess that this Chihaya girl is one of those busybody kinda type. But she won’t be the only one along the way. After school, Kazuki notices that her new neighbours are moving in and is excited to greet them as she heads into her home and prepares herself along with her busty and ‘dreamy but not blur’ elder sister, Hatsune.
As Kazuki is changing her outfit, a boy is spying her from the balcony and because he saw her semi-naked, he proceeds to barge in and pound (not to mention molest!) Kazuki. Of course, Kazuki’s in a shock as she tries to struggle and get him away from her. Soon, a girl with a teddy bear machine gun fires away at him! Oh is it blood that he’s all covered with? Nope, it’s just paintballs. Well, Kazuki realized that this guy is Yuuji! Oh no! To cut things short, Yuuji didn’t turned out the way Kazuki expects him to be but instead a big time pervert! And that little machine gun girl is Marie, Yuuji’s little sister, who is your typical expressionless and monotonous sounding little girl. Marie as a paintball gun disguised as a teddy bear and wouldn’t hesitate to fire and ‘punish’ her brother everytime he gets into perverted situations. And as always. Yuuji never learns as you’ll notice he gets his punishment at least once in every episode.
Even later it’s an uneasy atmosphere when the quartet are together in the living room. Even though an argument broke out between Kazuki and Yuuji, the latter still wants to grope and molest Kazuki! That pervert! He even had a go at Hatsune but I guess where’s all the fun when that big sis is so casual and ‘allowing’. As usual, Yuuji gets a hail of rubber bullets from Marie and a kick from Kazuki. But even when Kazuki tries to help him up, Yuuji still wants a piece of her. Desparate case. This made Kazuki to run and lock herself in her room. There, she’s still upset over the whole thing and decides to eat the whole cake she made for Yuuji herself when she’s thinking about the time she met Yuuji while she’s young just outside the balcony. You know, the balcony of both houses are so close that you could just climb over with ease. Really. Perhaps there’s really a shortage of space in Japan.
But Kazuki’s daydreaming is interrupted when Yuuji somehow got into her room and Kazuki lands him a kick on the head. With that, Yuuji gets to admire her panties and his inner pervertness resurfaces before Kazuki kicks him out of her room. That night while Kazuki’s still sulking, Yuuji manages to soften her heart by remembering the first time they met and saying how cute she was at that time. I’m sure any girl would forgive a guy like him after those words. It seems Hatsune and Marie have been spying on the both of them as their appearance surprised Kazuki. Yup, Hatsune’s not only another busybody but also playing matchmaker. Of course Marie’s there to watch over her brother to prevent him from doing anything funny. But actually the trio are waiting for Kazuki to come join them for dinner. After dinner, they had a taste of Kazuki’s cake. However, it tastes disgusting. Yup, Kazuki’s a bad cook. And if you’re wondering about their parents, they’ve gone out together ever since Yuuji and Marie’s came back. Yup, spending some lost times together. But throughout the series, you won’t really see both their parent’s faces but only hear their voices over the phone.
But it seems that the quartet are going to be together for a long time in episode 2. That’s because both their parents are on a cruise and their boat crashed somewhere off some South American island and they’re marooned. Not only that, we could hear over the phone that they plan on staying there a little while longer. Well, looks like the kids have to fend for themselves. And since Yuuji is now a pervert, that makes Kazuki fearing the worst. Oh you just have to be patient girl. Besides having that flashback dream while they were young and how Yuuji left with his family and a love letter Kazuki wanted to give to Yuuji but never managed to do so, and Yuuji’s collection of crates and boxes full of erotic magazines, back in present time, Hatsune comes up with a plan by turning Yuuji and Kazuki into ‘husband and wife’. The catch is, Yuuji mustn’t do anything pervert on Kazuki or else he loses. It’s gonna be tough.
Why not. It seems, Yuuji is trying to control his inner pervertness when Hatsune sets up various tempting positions of Kazuki. From a maid outfit to school girl swimsuit, it does seem like an eternity trying to hold it all in. Of course, both of them have that will not to lose to each other as Kazuki tries to step up the pressure into seducing Kazuki though she isn’t too fond of it. So it’s dinner time and just like a husband and wife, Kazuki prepares dinner which means Yuuji is gonna have a horrid time. Is this far worse than holding in his pervertness? However, Kazuki decides to give in and let Yuuji win when the latter says how good her meal was because he doesn’t want to let her effort all go to waste. Yup, Yuuji chowed down the whole thing.
While Yuuji’s writhing in pain on the ground, Hatsune seems to have another plan up her sleeve as she pulls some string on the apron Kazuki’s wearing to reveal a naked apron! Well, Kazuki’s not exactly naked. Somehow the clothes she’s wearing came off leaving her in her undies. I wonder if there’s a scientific explanation for this even if it’s possible. While a surprised Kazuki is trying to cover herself, Yuuji spots her and just like magic that disgusting food taste disappeared and his pervertness starts to kick in. With that, Marie gives Yuuji his usual punishment. See, old habits die hard.
Since Yuuji’s back living with them, he has to go to school too, right? So in episode 3, starts off with Kazuki having a weird dream of a suave, cool, charming and attractive Yuuji. Too bad that’s all just a dream. Since it’s Yuuji’s first day, Kazuki tells him that he needs to be presentable and not look like a pervert as Kazuki tidies Yuuji up a little. So on their way to school, it seems the girls are taken in by Yuuji’s handsomeness. Yeah, Yuuji does look quite handsome in that look he’s putting on. Then, a little blonde girl, Niina Isokawa, bumps into them. Niina’s your usual halfie, meaning of mixed parentage and that genki little girl. I suppose any girl would do for Yuuji as he caught glimpse of Niina’s panties but luckily Kazuki stuffed her hand into his face.
In class, Marie is introduced to her class and it seems she’s in the same class with an excited Niina. Things couldn’t get worse for her when Marie and Niina are seated next to each other. So much so everytime Niina moves her desk closer to Marie’s, the latter will move away and this process repeats until Marie gives up. At Yuuji’s class, he’s putting on his handsome face as everyone admires in disbelief. The class president, Kousuke Machida tells how Yuuji could use this looks to attract girls but shortly to be beaten up by the class vice president, Miu Serizawa, to come talk to her if there’s anything and winks at Yuuji! Okay, so the handsome face look works. But Yuuji has to keep it in in order not to dig his own grave.
Though Kazuki isn’t in the same class as Yuuji, she can’t help worry what perverted tactics Yuuji may pull off on the girls in his class. By that time, Chihaya comes by and tells Kazuki that she has seen her childhood friend and notes how popular he is among the girls. Of course Kazuki wouldn’t believe at first but Chihaya brings her to have a good look herself and it’s true. Yuuji’s surrounded by girls! And he isn’t doing anything perverted. In a way, Kazuki’s upset and jealous that Yuuji has never treated her like this but Yuuji says some things again to make her heart soft like how he doesn’t mind being ignored by other girls when he decides to give up his handsome face look as he still thinks Kazuki as his friend. So perhaps this handsome face look isn’t too bad after all.
The next day after school, Kazuki decides to properly introduce Chihaya to Yuuji but tells Marie to be on guard as safety precautions. Yuuji is putting on his handsome face as he and Chihaya chat. Why, Chihaya seems to be seducing him! Like putting his face in her chest! Marie can’t do anything because it’s not Yuuji who’s being perverted. Eventually, he starts enjoying it like a pervert he is and loses his handsome face. Kazuki asks Chihaya how she knew this isn’t the real Yuuji. It’s about some face twitching response Chihaya gave, which she observed the day Yuuji arrived. Chihaya tells that Yuuji is better off being himself and not acting like somebody else. With that, Yuuji is thrilled that Chihaya accepts the way he is and takes her hands. Marie thinks Yuuji’s getting into perverted mode and prepares to fire. Kazuki tries to intercepts but bumps into the 2 causing herself and Chihaya to reveal their panties. An excited Yuuji is gonna grope them when Marie fires away, hitting bullseye. Though Chihaya mentions that boys should be a little perverted, this made Yuuji even more excited as he agrees with her. Chihaya decides to flip up her own skirt to ‘experiment’ and see for herself. So everytime Yuuji looks at Chihaya’s undies in excitement, Marie shoots him. And this process goes on and on and on and on until who knows when. At least Chihaya proved her experiment was successful and had her fill of ‘fun’ as well. Looks like she too does enjoy seducing Kazuki but not to the extent that it takes him away from Kazuki. You could say that she has a higher acceptance threshold on pervertness.
Though episode 4 still has more of those perverted ‘attacks’ from Yuuji and Hatsune seems a little disappointed about Yuuji’s failure each time (she’s really wanting to see some action between her little sis and Yuuji), this episode mainly focuses on Marie and Niina. We see Niina’s home is atop some hill and she’s got a clear shot of Marie’s house as Niina looks through her binoculars. Here, we find out 2 things that Marie is afraid of. One, cats. Two, interacting and mixing with other people. Marie spots 1 on a wall and Niina happen to come by and introduce herself. Between the devil and the deep blue sea. Marie tries to run but a genki Niina is hot on her heels. It seems Niina is very keen to be with Marie so much so she’s sticking like a leech 24/7 with Marie at school.
Though Marie manage to ditch Niina on her way back from school, this time she’s been surrounded by cats. And somehow those cats turned evil and is gonna strike her when Niina shows up to protect her. Soon Yuuji and Kazuki arrive to give the cats their lunch leftover to calm them down. Marie then points her teddy bear gun at Niina, surprising her. Luckily Yuuji tells her to put it away and soon Marie runs away. Yuuji explains to Niina about how Marie never had any good friends before as he invites her over for dinner. So during dinner, it’s all Yuuji’s plan to get Marie to support Niina. It’s ironic that Niina’s dumpling may look horrible on the outside but it tastes good unlike Kazuki’s which is just the total opposite. Yuuji asks why Niina is so fond on Marie as the latter tells since her dad is always working late, he’s rarely home to be with her and her only companion is her stuffed toy racoon named Rak-kun, which uncannily resembles closesly to Marie’s face. Yes it does. In the end, Marie and Niina do become friends but Marie still keeps a distance between them. Niina thanks and even hugs Yuuji, which that pervert enjoys that lolita’s breasts rubbing on him. Yup, punishment time before the gang sends Niina back to her place.
Does Chihaya have a thing for Yuuji? Well, in episode 5, it seems Chihaya is trying to seduce and win Yuuji over like telling him how she’s wearing her new panties and wants Yuuji to take a look at them. You know Yuuji’s reaction, right? This in a way attracts a crowd of busybodies and Kazuki starts arguing with Chihaya that the latter shouldn’t have done so, so much so everyone thinks that Kazuki and Chihaya are fighting over Yuuji. Of course an embarrassed Kazuki doesn’t think it’s like that but it seems Chihaya is enjoying it. And perhaps Yuuji may like Chihaya after all because during recess as the 2 talk things over, they find out that they both have many common interests together. This prompts Kazuki to be a little jealous. Even though Yuuji’s a pervert, he is HER pervert, remember?
The next day, Chihaya comes to visit Yuuji’s place since Kazuki overslept. When Kazuki finally awakes, she’s surprised to find Yuuji didn’t do anything perverted on Chihaya. Furthermore, Kazuki comes into Yuuji room to find it in a total mess so much so she herself took the liberty in cleaning it up for him. We also find out Yuuji’s some sort of a photography maniac. Well, he doesn’t take photos of beautiful sceneries, well yes, beautiful scenaries in the sense… girls. That shutterbug gives an excuse that he wants to capture their beauty. With that, everyone decides to join in some photo session even Niina. Except for Kazuki, who’s still upset over the whole thing.
Everyone then decides to team up and have a photo of Kazuki taken by barging into Kazuki’s room while she’s changing and Yuuji is gonna use this opportunity to snap a pic of her when Kazuki is really upset and pissed off. This prompts Kazuki to back down and everyone soon leaves her alone. Later Chihaya manages to convince Kazuki to take a photo but notices how lonely she is and asks Yuuji to stand beside her. Kazuki gets mad again though Yuuji tries to apologize for all his wrongdoings. Because Kazuki said the wrong words like how it’s best she wasn’t here, Yuuji couldn’t tolerate anymore and tells her off before saying he hates her. Kazuki felt even more hurt and replies the same thing to him that she hates him. I sense a storm coming up.
The hostility continues in episode 6 as this episode gets a little serious. Continuing off from their ‘break up’, both Yuuji and Kazuki are avoiding each other. Because of that, Chihaya partly feels responsible and tries to make things up by trying to prove that Yuuji has no feelings on herself but Kazuki instead. Chihaya went to talk to Kazuki which the latter felt bad about the whole thing and agrees to go make up with Yuuji. That night, Kazuki and Chihaya sneaked onto Yuuji’s balcony to find Hatsune in a nun outfit trying to console Yuuji. Even with Hatsune’s oversized boobs, Yuuji seems too depressed to do anything perverted. Marie appears, surprising both Chihaya and Kazuki as she mentions that she has requested Hatsune to go talk with Yuuji.
We hear that Yuuji too is sorry about the whole thing and wants to make up to Kazuki as well as he likes her better when she smiles. Upon hearing this, Kazuki’s heart softens and due to this, she slipped from the roof as a roof tile loosens. Hey, how can you hear anything from that spot. I mean unless Yuuji’s talking really loud. In in a speed of light, Yuuji manages to catch her in her arms, though he’s gonna have backache problems. Hey, how could Yuuji respond so quickly to Kazuki’s scream and fall? Though the next day Kazuki agrees to get her photo taken, she’s still finding it hard to smile. Yuuji consoles her which eventually made Kazuki smile. Looks like it’s a creepy one. Hahaha. But I guess that’s a start. Because of that, Yuuji teases Kazuki and soon an argument ensues as Kazuki gets pissed off. Back to the normal. And while the 2 are at it, the gang took a photo of Yuuji clinging on to Kazuki’s waist as she tries to fend him off.
It seems everything is really back to normal in episode 7 as Yuuji is back to his usual perverted prowl on Kazuki in the early morning. Well, Kazuki is surprised to find Yuuji in her room and gives him a beating. She later finds out that it was Hatsune who let Yuuji in even though Kazuki had locked the doors. Upon opening her closet, she finds Marie tied up inside. The reason why there was no punishment when Yuuji was around. Yup, Hatsune got to Marie first before Marie could on Yuuji. Because of that, Marie decides to find Hatsune’s weakness. But in school we see Hatsune has her own fanclub. She’s really popular so much so that there are guys asking and pleading for her to join their club. Those perverted guys. But I suppose it’s not her busty figure that they’re after because Hatsune is quite an all-rounder as well and is quite good in doing a lot of things. But Hatsune just gave her usual smile.
Hatsune confess that she does have a weakness, Kazuki, that is. Soon Hatsune collapses because she has a fever and a concerned Kazuki rushes back home. While Hatsune’s resting in her bed, Kazuki decides to temporarily take over the household chores. But you know, Kazuki’s a klutz. She flops in all the household chores and at the same time giving viewers a taste of some fanservice like she could even trip while vacuuming or hanging out the clothes. Since we all know Kazuki’s a bad cook, Marie and Yuuji helped her in making some dinner for Hatsune. Though Kazuki seems pretty concern for her sis, Hatsune thanks her for her hard work and proceeds to get all yuri with her! Because of that, Kazuki gets her fever the next day. But that’s not it. It seems Hatsune has got Kazuki’s klutz! Yup, Hatsune screws up her household chores! Yuuji hopes that Kazuki will get well soon because he and Marie can’t take it anymore as they’re sprawled all over the ground, possibly in pain.
More of those Hatsune-Kazuki moments in episode 8. We see that Kazuki’s part of the swimming club and the reason why she’s in one is because a young Yuuji told her how good she was a swimmer, which made Kazuki joined a swimming club ever since. Back in present time, because Kazuki manage to break a swimming lap record set by Hatsune, this prompts a challenge from Hatsune to a swimming competition. Furthermore, Yuuji is on the school’s media reporting club as a photographer and is assigned to cover that event. Though Kazuki doesn’t want to compete with her sis, it seems Hatsune is really getting into it. So of course, they had to go shopping for a swimsuit and though Yuuji said some pissing off remarks and gets his usual pounding from Kazuki, it seems Yuuji does notice and observe Kazuki a little as he notices her favourite colour is green and picks a swimsuit of that colour for her. But I guess even that 2 piece swimsuit is green, it’ll be quite embarrassing for Kazuki to wear it on competition day. So she settle for something else. A blue 1 piece swimsuit.
So that day arrives and is much anticipated. Yeah, all the hype, buzz and excitement about it makes you think those guys are there just to watch Hatsune’s gravity-defying boobs in action. Just kidding. Kazuki seems to be having low self-confidence because her sis seems intimidating although she doesn’t look the part. Yuuji notices this and tries to boost Kazuki’s morale by speaking through the PA system. Because of this, the race starts and in the end Kazuki beats her sis and wins the race. Though after the race on their way back home, Hatsune says that how he wished for Yuuji to cheer her on, Yuuji replies that he was actually cheering for both of them. Soon a stack of photos dropped out from Yuuji’s bag and to Kazuki’s horror she saw tons of photo shoots on other girl’s breasts, crotch shot and other sexy poses as she gives him another super punch. I guess that’s putting his photography skills to use. But not all the photos are perverted shots. There’s 1 where we see Kazuki coming out of the pool after her victory as Hatsune looks on.
The jealousy is back in episode 9 but this time it’s on Yuuji’s part. After that swimming victory, it seems Kazuki has her own fanclub now. Getting a taste of what it’s like in the limelight, huh? But that’s not really the cause of jealousy. In class, Serizawa and Machida tells Yuuji how there were many guys chasing and proposing for Kazuki to be their boyfriend back in middle school. But Kazuki rejected them all by saying that she had a crush on a special someone. Of course we all know that’s Yuuji but that blur head Yuuji thinks it’s somebody else. Soon, Yuuji finds out and assumes that the person Kazuki had a crush on is her old teacher, Kogorou. Another ASS-U-ME case. To make things worse, Kogorou actually comes back into Kazuki’s life in this episode. Now is this fate or what.
Yuuji eventually confronts Kazuki and asks about the person she likes and both 2 are talking different things. Yuuji thinks it’s Kogorou while Kazuki thinks it’s Yuuji himself. Don’t worry. Kogorou isn’t a bad guy, though he may seem like a blur head but he’s not. He’s quite understanding though sometimes he may not say it upfront. Anyway, Yuuji notices how Kazuki acts all too goody-two-shoes in front of Kogorou. Kazuki is actually pretending to be so because she doesn’t want Kogorou to find out what a big pervert Yuuji has become so much so she mentions all the good things about Yuuji.
But Chihaya soon tells Kazuki that Kogorou already knows of Yuuji’s pervertness. With that, Kazuki doesn’t need to hold back herself and unleashes her violent side on Yuuji even though Kogorou catches her doing it in the act. Kazuki tells Kogorou and blames Yuuji for turning her into like that. So more drama, teen angst and confusion as we see Yuuji locking himself up in his room and not wanting to come down for dinner. Though Kazuki tries to persuade him, Yuuji is still acting spoilt and jealous. Why Kazuki even tried to seduce him to do so! But it didn’t work. Yuuji’s jealousy has overwhelmed his perverted nature. So as the 2 get into an argument, eventually Yuuji pushes Kazuki out of his room and tells her that he doesn’t need any dinner as he shut close his balcony door, leaving Kazuki all confused and shocked.
What ecchi anime doesn’t have that beach episode. That’s what episode 10 is. The gang including Kogorou, Machida and Serizawa head to the beach for some fun in the sun and sand. I find this episode a little boring and lots of that drama. So here, both Yuuji and Kogorou gets into perverted situations but Kazuki seems to forgive Kogorou because she views his perverted actions are to be accidental as compared to Yuuji’s. Of course this pisses off Yuuji. But even so, note that Kogorou isn’t a pervert though the situation does make him look and sound like one. And I’m not really sure if Machida and Serizawa are an item but it seems Serizawa won’t hesitate to give Machida a good pounding whenever he gets into perverted trouble.
To make things worse, Kazuki didn’t wear that green swimsuit that Yuuji bought for her, making Yuuji even more sulky. Thus Yuuji tries to get everyone’s attention by doing silly stuffs like that blindfolded watermelon hitting game, which Yuuji ultimately made a fool out of himself. Soon Yuuji goes off and build an amazing sand castle sculpture (I didn’t know he could build it so beautifully) with Marie. Marie notices Yuuji isn’t his perverted self (isn’t that a good thing. Maybe not because she won’t get to shoot him). I like this part whereby suddenly we hear some sort of a loud army invasion/raid takeover over the loud speaker. It all seems so real that it scared Yuuji as he’s wondering what’s going on. Then it all turned out to be Marie’s handphone ringtone. Hahaha. I wish I had one for mine as well. Marie receives a call from Hatsune telling Yuuji to gather at some spot and take a group photo.
We also find out that Kazuki actually did like that green swimsuit Yuuji selected. Unfortunately it got ripped while she was wearing it while taking a bath. Yuuji reaches the place only to see Kazuki there. By now, you should know that all this is just a setup. Kazuki’s covered by a towel and is gonna ‘show’ Yuuji, who thinks Kazuki is gonna bare it all. Unfortunately, Kazuki’s wearing her green swimsuit with the ripped part being held by a clip. When Kazuki asks if she looks cute in it, Yuuji mumbles a soft yes so much so Kazuki didn’t hear it. Of course Yuuji still has that male ego pride and tells her she isn’t cute. This pisses off Kazuki as she again makes comparison with him and Kogorou. With that, Yuuji gets mad and just in good timing, Kogorou appears and that clip that holds Kazuki’s swimsuit came off. Though Yuuji wants to help her, Kazuki thinks that he’s gonna do something perverted and chides him to stay back. I’m not sure if Kogorou know what’s really happening as he takes off his shirt and covers Kazuki as they both head back to where the rest are, leaving Yuuji like the ‘bad guy’.
Your usual festival episode 11 and girls in their yukatas as Yuuji-Kazuki relationship once again becomes strained. So much so Yuuji decides to lock himself up in his own room to study (it’s the end of the world!) while everyone else looks forward to the festival. So during that festival night the whole motley gang are there as usual. Since it’s awfully crowded, the gang got separated. Then Yuuji spots Kogorou and Kazuki together. As usual, Yuuji jumped to conclusions when he saw Kazuki falling into the arms of Kogorou. Yuuji thinks Kazuki’s still in love with him but in actual fact, Kazuki isn’t used to the kind of slippers she’s wearing which causes her to trip and Kogorou managed to catch her before she falls face flat on the ground. Yuuji decides to leave and by that time Kazuki had spot Yuuji too. Kazuki wanted to go after him but this time her slipper straps broke and Kazuki really tripped this time.
Then Kogorou and Yuuji had a little chat together while they’re in the public bath house. Yuuji isn’t too fond of Kogorou’s presence and gets irritated whenever Kogorou asks him about his love life. Okay, maybe just if Yuuji’s jealous by the whole thing or not. After Kogorou reveals what actually happened back then, Yuuji asks back if there’s anyone in particular Kogorou likes. Though he didn’t say who, Kogorou mentions that there is a person he likes but it’s not Kazuki. I’m guessing it must be Hatsune. Just guessing. Finally Kogorou advices Yuuji to stop being perverted to Kazuki as that would make her hate him more. As they leave the bath house, they meet up with the girls who also have finished doing their business. Kazuki decides to apologize to Yuuji but the latter said some unpleasant remarks which pisses off Kazuki. Because she’s still not used to her slippers, she trips again, almost revealing her undies. So that perverted mode is back but Kazuki lands him a kick in the face (wonder why Marie wasn’t fast enough to whip out her gun). Kazuki remembers Kogorou’s words but Marie finally points her gun and fires away. Better late than never.
So Yuuji decides to follow Kogorou’s advice and stop being a pervert in episode 12. Heck, he even threw away all his erotic magazines! Because of that Kazuki is quite happy with the way things turned out but not for Chihaya. Yup, that gal probably loves to see some ecchi action between those 2 but since all that’s gone, Chihaya tries to create an ecchi situation between the 2 but she flops. You could say the fun’s gone but the good news is, Kazuki gets to do well on her exams and swimming club whereas Yuuji joins every club available in school. Soon it’s gonna turn out to be a bad thing because Yuuji’s really getting tired as you could see the bags around his eyes. He’s like a zombie! So lethargic, so no energy, so no reaction. And I think because of that, Yuuji’s experiencing a streak of bad luck like falling into manholes.
Kazuki starts to worry and wonders if it’s her fault. So is she saying she likes the perverted Yuuji better? Marie too is sad because she can’t shoot her brother anymore. I guess it’s confirmed that this little girl gets her kicks from there. Kazuki and Hatsune then had a chat when Kazuki says how she still likes this current Yuuji even with all the bad luck because it reminded her of the young childhood Yuuji. Hatsune doesn’t seem to agree and tells Kazuki to think about it again. Remember that letter Kazuki intended to give Yuuji but never did? Kazuki opens it now and reads it. To her shock and horror, it states "Yuuji, don’t be a pervert". What the?
Okay some flashback here. It seems when Yuuji was young he’s a pervert too! Oh my gosh! The reason why Kazuki didn’t remember was because she only wanted to remember the good parts of Yuuji and along the way while she’s growing up, Yuuji’s perverted side got erased from her memories. Now it’s all flowing back. Yeah, things never really did change. There’s even a pic of Yuuji flipping up her skirt just before he leaves. A real pervert right till the end. So Kazuki’s has always been in love with a pervert. How many times have I mentioned the word pervert already? Meanwhile, Hatsune notices something strange about Marie and decides to let her spill the beans as Hatsune shows her scary dark side. Not in terms of facial expression but Hatsune forces Marie to speak by ‘threatening’ her with an insect. So Marie is afraid of bugs too. What is it that could be so shocking? Yuuji and Marie are going to move again! Oh no. Just when Kazuki just realized things, there Yuuji has to be on the move again. The reason why Yuuji never told them first because it wasn’t confirmed yet. But what are the chances, right? Times running out for Kazuki as she needs to make a decision whether to confess to Yuuji or not before he leaves her, possible forever.
So the final episode 13 confirms that Yuuji and Marie are gonna move to New York. And they’ll meet up with their parents who’re taking a boat there. Kazuki tries her last ditch attempt to make up with Yuuji but it didn’t turn up the way the way it should and the both of them end up thinking the other one hates the other. What do you expect? Meanwhile, Niina is pretty devastated to hear news that her beloved pal Marie is moving and is hilarious to see trying to chase and cling on to Marie as the latter tries to keep escape and keep some distance between them. So a lot of drama, spacing out and hesitating moments. Parting is always hard when they’ve been so long together even though that person has irritating and bad habits.
Yuuji and Marie are at the airport awaiting their flight to New York. And everybody’s there to see them off. Well, it couldn’t be help since it’s their parents who made the call. The gang tries to setup a situation for Yuuji and Kazuki to be alone together. Okay, so some more talking and flashbacks here and there but no confession or whatsoever. Soon it’s time to leave. Marie gives Niina a farewell hug. Yuuji is leaving but Kazuki still can’t find the right words to tell him. Finally she does as she yells for him not to leave and asks him to stay and make memories here with them. But Yuuji just went ahead. Is this the end? The next day, Kazuki, Hatsune and Niina head to school but they don’t seem too depressed like as though they’re really trying hard to cope with it all. Everybody does their normal stuffs in school.
Then back at home, we see Kazuki opening her balcony door and wishing Yuuji well done. So Yuuji didn’t really get on the plane, didn’t he? I’m not really sure but I think Yuuji’s reorganizing stuff in his house. Probably that’s why it looked like it has been vacated. We then see how it all came to this. Back at the airport, Kazuki does 1 last attempt to persuade Yuuji to come back. Kazuki tells and gives him permission to get ecchi on her. Yes. That’s all it takes to make that pervert change his mind as he dashes back, hugs and rubs his face in Kazuki’s breasts. Kazuki still beats him up and says that even though she allows him to be a pervert, she still doesn’t like the idea and he will have to endure her beatings in exchange for her to endure his pervertness. So does that really settles it? Just then Yuuji’s parents called him to say that their boat has broke down near Easter Island and they’re planning to stay there for a while so the moving has been cancelled. With that, everybody’s happy that Yuuji and Marie gets to stay back in Japan. In the ending credits, we see Kazuki making a paper plane out of that love letter before she threw it away in the sky. Yuuji takes a shot of Kazuki looking up happily towards the sky which becomes part of the picture frame in her room. Oh well, Yuuji’s back to his normal usual perverted self.
Overall, I guess everything is kinda decent (ironically, being ecchi is never decent). Well, surprisingly Kazuki and Yuuji didn’t really kiss as expected in most boy-love-girl kinda stories. Perhaps they haven’t reach that level yet whereby they’re officially a couple. But since they’re arguing most of the time, they do look like husband and wife. Maybe a sign of the possible future? I read that most viewers didn’t like the series after halfway because the storyline just became ‘boring’ and ‘going no where’. Well, I too felt that way. But I can’t really complain since it’s a short series.
So I suppose those who really want to watch this must be those who love fanservice and ecchi animes a lot. You’ve got lots of them here. Thus the drawing, art and animation is standard, nothing that breathtaking unless you want to consider those panty shots as one. Just kidding. Even though I can’t really say that I hate this series, I can’t really say I do really enjoy it either. It’s kinda in between. And no, after watching the series, it didn’t turned me into a pervert.
For those seiyuu (voice acting) fans, you may recognize Hatsune’s voice actress, played by Sayaka Ohara, because she has a long list to her resume such as the voice of Youko in Tsubasa Chronicle, Alicia in Aria The Animation, Noelle in Trinity Blood and Bel-Peol in Shakugan No Shana. Likewise, Kazuki’s voice actress, Akemi Kanda has played roles such as Miharu in Da Capo, Asuna in Mahou Sensei Negima and Nina in Ultra Maniac. So I could say the voice acting is quite okay and it does fit the characters.
Of course being a pervert is bad. But I think the main thing here is to be who you are and to accept and look in a positive way that person of how he/she is (okay, so Yuuji’s case may not be acceptable at all times but he even at times has his good points). Though silence is golden but that depends on the situation either. Sometimes there’s a need to express oneself so as not to give rise to any misconceptions. But ironically, there’s a saying whereby time changes everything, some things never do change and sometimes it’s best for that some things to stay the way as it is. Or else it could be far worse, don’t you think? If Yuuji had change from a perverted self, man there’s a possibility that he would’ve been a rapist! But let’s not go that far. Besides, this is an ecchi anime, not a hentai series.

Kyoshiro To Towa No Sora

August 10, 2007

Even though I knew that Kyoshiro To Towa No Sora is gonna be another one of those mecha series, I initially didn’t want to watch it at first. But if I’m blogging this series means that I’ve watched it already, right? Well, in a way, that’s half right. I only watched the first episode of the series.
So if I myself being not a mecha fan in the first place, why and what is it that made me curious to watch the series? Furthermore, I read that there is no comedy element in this series. Yup, no comedy. At least, not for the first and only episode that I’ve watched. Even if it does have 1, it wouldn’t be the main driving force of the series as it is more towards fantasy, drama and romance. So what is it? What is it? What is it really?
They say don’t judge a book by its cover and that a picture is worth a thousand words. Guess what I’m trying to say already? Yes, from the looks of the picture of the series, I got quite tempted and curious to watch the show because of some good looking bishies there. Uh-huh. Am I that cheap? Not to say those people there are really really handsome or pretty and would occupy 1 or more spots on my top 100 bishoujo list. But I guess it’s enough to make me watch the show.
So, 1 of the ‘beautiful’ people on the series’ picture is of course the main protagonist of the show, Kuu Shiratori. Kuu your typical normal average high school girl and is always thinking how boring and dull her life is and wishes that the prince of her dreams would one day sweep her off her feet to somewhere more exciting. She also thinks her life is ’empty’. Based on the writing of her name in kanji, Kuu’s name also means empty as well. Having read that synopsis, I was hoping that this Kuu girl would be the genki and funny type in hopes that the series will be funny. Unfortunately, it isn’t so. Kuu is really that depressing and gloomy looking girl inside her heart. And on the outside, you could say that she’s almost close to it.
But as your typical teenage girl, Kuu would of course have her own dreams of her prince charming, gesturing her to come with him. I guess she like red-heads as compared to blondes because the prince of her dream has red hair and I was wondering if that guy’s a guy. Uh-huh. As usual, because of the ambiguous Japanese art, a guy can look like a girl and vice versa. But let’s assume Kuu is a straight girl and everything else will be okay.
That’s what Kuu’s dream in the beginning of the first episode. But she’s snapped back into reality by her friend, Kozue, as we see the 2 of them riding in a train to school. So this Kozue girl knows that Kuu has this crush on some hot guy, who’s also happen to be standing in the same train. Plus, some sort of festival is coming up and Kozue decides to play match making by giving Kuu some sort of tickets to the festival.
After summing up her courage, Kuu decides to just give it a shot and ask that guy. In this story, slow and steady doesn’t necessarily win the race. That’s because before Kuu can say or give him the tickets, some other hot looking girl comes up to that guy and give him hers. And he accepted it. Bummer. So the more appropraite moral of the story here is, the eary bird catches the worm. Of course, Kuu is experiencing a little heartbreak and because she’s not the assertive type of gal, she just says nevermind and it’s okay. Maybe it’s best for her just to give up on him.
Once the train have reached their destination, we find that their school, Academia, reminds you like one of those medieval fantasy-like schools. Possibly like Harry Potter’s. Yeah, some large building on top of a hill. Even the dressing is somewhat a mix between fantasy, today’s modern school uniform and some even those old British era outfits (can’t remember what that era is called).
Another usual day for Kuu as she and Kozue heads towards class. And since I’m at my usual blur mode, I don’t really remember nor understand what Kozue’s saying to Kuu about some guys going missing and a mysterious little cloaked girl seen after school hours. Then there’s this bunch of handsome (and girly) looking guys, dubbed the Mobile Disciplinary Committee, which I don’t remember what they are here for. I think it’s the student council or what but I could be wrong. Anyway, those bunch of guys comes into Kuu’s class, blabs about something before leaving one of them behind. So that left behind guy, Kyoshiro Ayanokoji, seems to oddly resemble Kuu’s prince charming. Because of his good looks, it’s no surprise that all the other girls in the class are falling head over heals for this guy.
Later during recess, Kyoshiro is playing his violin at the school garden and of course accompanied with his good looks and extraordinary violin skills, attracting a crowd of swooning ladies, who are I think more towards admiring his handsomeness than listening to his music skills. While Kuu is admiring Kyoshiro’s music, Kyoshiro spots Kuu among the crowd of girls and walks towards her. Kuu’s heart must be pounding heavily as Kyoshiro puts both his hands on her little shoulders. And all the other girls must be looking with envy and holding their breath in excitement as they watch Kyoshiro’s next move.
What happens next is totally unexpected, random and out of this world. I mean, it’s totally outrageous. Plus, it isn’t the funny kind of outrageous. Can you guess what Kyoshiro did on Kuu? A. He asked her out to the festival. B. He slapped her face. Or C. He transformed her into a frog. Good news is none of the above. Kyoshiro TOTALLY RIPPED THE TOP PORTION OF KUU’S DRESS OPEN!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!!!!! I didn’t see that one coming. At this moment, Kyoshiro’s face do look like a pimp and a pervert, smiling and such. Before you know it, he’s asking Kuu to come with him.
Of course it would be obvious that Kuu felt violated and embarrassed by it as she ran away. A more violent and aggressive girl would have land him a punch in the face or a kick in the crotch. I guess it’s unforgiveable even if that guy resembles closely to the guy of her dreams. Plus, if you notice that when Kyoshiro ripped her shirt off, you could see some glowing symbol on her breast. And if you’re a experienced fantasy hardcore fan, you could probably tell that it’s some sign that she’s a chosen one. Thus, that perverted shirt ripping part is actually some sort of a ‘scout and search’ thingy to find the chosen one which Kuu is as you’ll find out later in the series. Of course, I’m not a mecha fan and didn’t know about that part. I just happen to do some further reading on that and found out it is so.
While lamenting her fate on the school rooftop why the prince charming of her dreams turned out to be some psychotic pervert, Kuu stumbles upon that mysterious cloaked girl. Okay, so that school uniform of hers isn’t exactly ripped, because Kuu dressed back nicely after that. Which means that the girl’s uniform could be easily taken off! I’m just speculating. Anyway, Kuu’s thinking that this beautiful girl with green eyes may be the one that Kozue mentioned earlier but before you know it, she disappears from Kuu’s sight and soon an explosion occurs and that cloaked girl saying "Target lost".
Because of that, the preparations for the upcoming festival is postponed. Later Kuu is walking alone through the school corridors when she caught Kyoshiro kissing that cloaked girl in the piano room! Okay, so is this guy a pervert now. Well, maybe he decided to use his good looks to his advantage, huh? Anyway, Kuu’s imagination starts going wild like as though she’s jumping to conclusions. No doubt that this guy has outraged her modesty, she shed some tears and as usual ran away. Probably she’s thinking that if her prince charming even though turns out to be a pervert, might as well, do it on her because he is HER prince charming. I think.
While sitting dejectedly on the stairs and thinking of the events that has just happened, some cat girl appears and starts attacking Kuu. Not only that, looks like that cat girl who irriatingly end her sentences with ‘~nya’, is some sort of a vampire and has bitten Kozue, who’s lying unconscious there. Before cat girl can pound on Kuu, that cloaked girl, Setsuna, arrives in time to ward off cat girl’s attack.
With that, a mecha battle soon commenced. Okay, they could summon the mecha as though it’s like some sort of spirit. But other than that, lots of those typical mecha blasting, pounding, ripping, clobbering action. So you could see that Setsuna and cat girl don’t really like each other as they fought using their summoned mechas. I wonder if the repair bill is gonna be high because they’re destroying the school like as though such buildings are meant to be destroyed in all mecha series. Plus, they could summon either the whole mecha or just part of it. That is, the mecha’s fist only.
While Kuu is caught in the midst of the battle, she’s hanging on to dear life when another explosion causes the ground to break and Kuu to fall to her death. And just like in most fairy tales, Kyoshiro arrives riding a horse and saves Kuu from her impending doom. This must be a dream come true. Well, at least the prince charming on a horse part. Has Kuu changed her miind about Kyoshiro being just more than a pervert. Well, Kyoshiro uses his hand to shield Kuu from the splinters and flying debris, causing his hand to bleed a little.
In the end, Kyoshiro and Setsuna combined their powers and with that horse, they unleash some super powerful blast which sends that cat girl reeling in defeat. But I’m sure that’s not the last you’ll see of her. Kuu in a semi-conscious state, wakes up to see it Kyoshiro on his horse with Setsuna, like as though it’s all just a dream. And though it’s ironic Kuu said that she’s seen enough surprises to last her till her great grand children and that nothing else would surprise her further, Kyoshiro then kisses Kuu on the lips! Now is that surprising or what. Usually the prince gives his princess a kiss at the end of the fairytale but this is just the beginning. Kyoshiro then smiled as he extends his hand once again and beckons her to follow them together. Where? You’ll have to watch the next episode if you want to find out.
Overall, after the first episode, it isn’t enough to sustain me to watch the second one. At least, by watching the first episode, I manage to satisfy my curiosity about the show. So there you have it, how Kuu has being ‘whisked’ away by her prince charming and thus her empty life will now be filled with all sorts of mecha adventure and romance. Yeah, I saw the next episode preview at the end of the first episode and they show Kuu staring in shock at 2 girls kissing each other! Does it seem tempting? Not to me.
As the series progress, Kuu gets involve in some war called Absolute Angels, which are also the mechas in this series. But I’ll just leave it there. If you’re a mecha fan then I suppose there are many other better mecha series out there, such as the more obvious and long running Gundam series. But if you’re the kiasu kind of person (just kidding) and want to watch every mecha series or love mechas so much, I guess watching this one will bring no harm. Plus, if you’re a fantasy buff, consider this an extra bonus. Oh wait. Don’t all mecha genres have some fantasy element in them? Not all. Especially the Gundam series which is more on futuristic sci-fi. I suppose you can consider flying horses to be under the fantasy genre. Furthermore, there are only 12 episodes so I suppose it’s enough to cover that short term fix of mecha fans.
Since the drawing, art and animation as well as the character designs are to appeal to bishie fans, probably it provides eye candy as well. Okay, so I admit that Kuu and Setsuna do look pretty. And I think I paid more attention looking at these 2 ladies than anything else. No, I didn’t really gawk or love the part where Kyoshiro ripped Kuu’s top off. But since I’m a guy, so naturally I did have my fair share of gawking at one of the beautiful creations of mother nature ;p. Hehehe. That still doesn’t make me a pervert okay. Speaking of which, that part I guess is the most surprising part throughout this episode. Just remember, DO NOT try to imitate this stunt anywhere, anyhow and especially to anybody. You’ll end up getting more than a court case against you.
I suppose in a way I too could reflect this on my own personal life. My life may seem boring and dull and I’m just an anime geek overall. But I wouldn’t want some beautiful princess (no warrior princess please) to come whisk me away for an adventure of a lifetime. I’m just happy with the way things are. And I hope Kuu does too by the end of the series. Now that’s living out her dream.

Ghost Hunt

August 4, 2007

I’m not really a fan of supernatural or ghost stories. That’s because I don’t want to have sleepless nights by scaring myself with tales from the other world. Even Martians taking over Earth isn’t so bad. So what made me decide to watch an anime with a title like Ghost Hunt? Reluctant at first, as usual I saw that 1 word which caught my attention. Yup, comedy. I was really doubting whether the comedy element is for real or not and that was enough to make me curious to watch it. Plus, there are some good looking bishies, so why not.
In a way, I could say that I have some mixed feelings about the show. Firstly, there is a comedy element, but it’s not the main driving force of the series and it serves as a short comic relief which won’t amount to anything much. Just as the title suggests, the series is mainly overwhelmed and driven by supernatural, mystery, psychological and horror elements with some drama in it.
And you’ll have 25 episodes of it all. At first I was wondering why the producers made it 25 episodes instead of the usual 24 or 26 episodes. Most probably with the way things ended, I’m speculating there is gonna be an OVA to sum and tie things up. Yup, you could guess from my sentence that the ending isn’t really a satisfying one. Furthermore, it’s based on a manga of the same name, and the manga series is still currently running in Japan.
So our main protagonist is a cutie 16 year old high school ghost story telling lover girl, Mai Taniyama. She loves telling ghost stories to her buddies so much so like it’s as though it’s like her hobby. But they get a little shock when some strange but good looking guy, Kazuya Shibuya, switched on the light. Because he’s so handsome, I suppose it’s natural for Mai’s friends to swoon over him. Of course, Mai isn’t too fond with him and just leaves.
The next time Mai comes to school, she’s passing an old building of the school and happen to notice a camera inside it. Being the curious girl she is, Mai goes in to investigate. And like they say curiosity kills the cat, before Mai could touch the camera, she heard a voice telling her not to touch it. A little surprised, a man quickly rushes in and pushes her away before the place crumbles a little. Unfortunately, that man was injured though Mai herself is lucky to escape from any injuries.
Later Mai finds out from Kazuya that the guy who got injured back then was his assistant, Lin Koujo (some striking and uncanny resemblance to Hatori of Fruits Basket). Mai’s surprised at first because she thought it was the other way round. Anyway, since Kazuya ‘blames’ Mai for injuring his assistant, Mai will have to be his temporary assistant until Lin recovers. So what does this Kazuya guy does? He’s a paranormal researcher who tracks and hunts ghosts ans spirits. If he looks too young to have his own company, SPR (Shibuya Psychic Research), then guess again, because this guy is only 17 years old! You must be thinking that he’s obsessed with the supernatural world as he’s quite knowledgeable and knows his work well.
Because of Kazuya’s egoistic attitude, Mai nicknames him Naru, which is short for narcissist. And it seems that the elusive Kazuya doesn’t mind of her or anybody else calling him Naru. Does this mean that he agree to it? But whatever it is, from now on, I too will refer to him as Naru, just like everybody else. As the series goes by you’ll notice that Mai starts to harbour romantic feelings for Naru but obviously that guy isn’t interested. And that is the comedy part. Yes, Mai’s wild imaginations of being with Naru and such which causes her to blush and fluster up. Can’t blame her. She’s still a 16 year old high school girl. As the series progresses, she’ll have weird dreams of Naru smiling and helping her, giving subtle hints. No not that kinda of dream *wink wink* mind you. How Mai wish it was so. Plus, if you happen to notice, Naru doesn’t really portray any emotions. Maybe in a job like this, emotions isn’t necessity. Especially fear and panic.
Anyway, Mai finds out as she’s being called to the principal’s office that one of the old school building is haunted and that there have been complaints about something supernatural about it. Or so he thinks. Thus, that’s why the principal has called SPR for his services. Not only that, I think the principal’s kiasee or what since he called several spirit exorcist specialists. There is a Buddhist monk Houshou Takigawa AKA Bou-san (doesn’t look like your typical bald monk in saffron robes because he considers this monk thing to be his part time job), a miko priestess Ayako Matsuzaki (who also doesn’t look like one as she proclaims herself to be a self-styled miko priestess), an Australian Catholic priest John Brown who really speaks fluent Japanese (more like for convenience), and a spirit medium Masako Hara who is also a renowned tv celebrity in her field (I was surprised that the voice actress for Masako is Rie Kugimiya who also voiced Shana of Shakugan No Shana. I couldn’t recognize her here). Also present is a classmate of Mai, Kuroda, who claims that she can sense spirits. So we’ve got a bunch of motley crew of exorcists here.
Since Kuroda claims that she has been strangled by some ghost and that the school is really haunted, the team of course would go investigate it. So most of the episodes will be divided into several story arcs. Each story arc is called a File ## (that’s actually episode number XX part ##) and of course episodes 1-3 is about the haunted school building and they leave the cliffhanger at the end of the first few episodes, made me curious and excited to know what’s going to happen in the next. Also during the show, there’ll lots and lots of terms and explanations about the supernatural world, types and methods of exorcism. Usually Naru (and sometimes the others) would explain it because Mai doesn’t really understands so he just took the liberty of saying so (and of course to tell viewers lah), which pisses off Mai a little. Ironic for someone who love telling ghost stories to find herself in unfamiliar waters. I suppose there are lots of theories and hypothesis of such occurences rather than a simple ghost story. However since, I’m too dumb and blur to understand what they’re explaining, you could say because of that I don’t understand it all and thus don’t feel or become scared of it. I think that if you really comprehend what they’re saying, it may send shivers down your spine. Bad thing is, it’s a little hard for me to keep up or fully grasp a particular story arc. Bummer. But phew. No sleepless in Subang Jaya.
Back to our first story arc, of course our exorcist specialists take turn and try out their several methods to detect if there are any spirits around and did some exorcism. Though Masako says she doesn’t sense any spirits but a persistant Kuroda kept telling her otherwise. There are incidents which may indicate there is something supernatural like the windows shattering but it’s nothing conclusive. Then 1 night when John is doing his holy water prayer exorcism, the ceiling above caved in but luckily Mai warned him in time enough for John to escape. Naru then concludes that since the building is built on top of some underground stream, thus the ground is soft and that explains on why the building partially collapses in the first place. But is it just that? Though the team packs up the next day, Kuroda is still dissatisfied and still persists that there are spirits, since she was attacked by one. By this time, Lin has been released from hospital and joins them. Soon after, several events occur which may indicate that there is indeed a poltergeist activity like opening and closing of doors on its own, banging on the walls and hearing footsteps from above.
I don’t reall remember but I guess the team still isn’t bent on giving up just yet. I mean, Naru called the rest and have some sort of a hypnotizing test on them. Later that night, Naru sets up a camera in that haunted building focusing on a chair positioned in the middle of a ring drawn on the floor. The next day, everyone gathered to watch the recording and to their surprised, the chair moved by itself and the ground isn’t vibrating. Naru explains. Okay, this is what I understand. Kuroda is the cause of it all and this poltergeist thing is a man-made type. It seems Kuroda was so crazy for attention unknowingly she had to power to make all those poltergeist-like events. It’s like in denial and because she wanted it to happen so bad, it really did happen. Maybe I should try this when my wish don’t come true. In addition, Naru reveals that Kuroda is the one who also placed certain items to make it as though it was a poltergeist’s activity.
Instead of busting Kuroda, Naru decides to just lie to the principal and say that the place indeed has spirits and will do some exorcism. After everything is done and the gang left, that building totally collapses the next day. The underground stream, wear and tear or is it the poltergeist? Whatever it is, nobody’s hurt. Later as Naru thanks Mai for her help, he asks her if she would be interested to join SPR part time as they need extra (wo)man-power. Okay, so perhaps pouring tea is part of the job scope in addition to ghost hunting. Thus, Mai’s days will become more ‘exciting’. I suppose it’s better than telling ghosts stories. Better experience the real thing.
So the rest of the episodes is gonna be something like this. There’s some disturbing haunting case which the client can’t tolerate so he/she comes to SPR and seek the services of Naru. Usually Naru takes the case and as the other gang (Bou-san, Ayako, John and Masako) somehow joins in and as the series progresses, you’ll find that they enjoy each other’s company so much so Naru sarcasticly quips that they converge at his place as though it’s like some coffee shop. Well, the more the merrier. Then some character development as we get to know the characters a little better like how Masako may have a thing for Naru and the latter don’t mind because since there’re hints that Masako may be paying Naru’s office rental in an otherwise unaffordable and expensive prime location. Yeah, Mai’s got a competitor and gets jealous everytime she sees Masako sneaking up close to Naru. Also, Lin is more taciturn and speaks only when necessary and hails from Hong Kong and Bou-san is part of some rock group which is his other job.
Episodes 4-6 this time takes the gang to some house. The house is supposedly haunted and the spirits views them as a threat and wants the gang to leave. But the real evil spirit may be one of the house inhabitant’s little girl’s doll, Mimi. Yeah, that doll is creepy and that girl treats it like though it’s her friend, talking to her and such. Though I don’t really understand what’s going on, my hair still stood on ends. So that little girl tells Mai how Mimi is trying to protect her from the other ‘evil’ inhabitants. So some strange occurences and ghostly experiences for Mai like how she saw Mimi’s head being decapitated, graffiti appearing on the walls and one of the inhabitants being attacked 1 night.
The next day, after John exorcise the spirit out from the doll, Bou-san decides to get rid of Mimi by burning it but at the same time, that little girl who went and play near the pond would’ve drowned if Mai haven’t come and save her. It’s like some sort of punishment for her since she has revealed the existance of Mimi. Now there is a real spirit this time. Yup, no man-made poltergeist. Earlier on, Naru did the same hypnotizing test but the results were negative. This spirit with a dark aura looks like some elderly woman and is asking for her daughter as she appears from inside the house. Scary. Plus, there are other children spirits in this house as well. Sounds scary enough for me.
There is a story how she came to be. As usual is a tragic one. Long ago a mother and her child lived in this place. But 1 day her child was abducted and the mother was very distraught and fell into the well, which the living room of the current house is being build over, and currently where the mother spirit is residing all these while. Several months after that incident, the child was found floating face down in that pond. Thus, the vengeful mother spirit wouldn’t hesitate to hurt anyone who wants to hurt her child, which she supposedly thinks is that little girl. Mai nearly got strangled by her but Bou-san’s chanting manage to break the spell.
Naru comes up with a plan to drive the mother spirit out by asking Ayako to write some talismans. I don’t remember and understand this part, but after sending the house inhabitants away to temporarily live in some hotel, they manage to draw her out and because that mother spirit is in a rage, Naru threw some talisman with her child’s name on it. With that, she calmed down when that talisman turned into that child of hers. She’s able to find peace and in a way leaves the house and the other children spirits too are free from her graps. Later, Naru explains that the talisman has been included the child’s name, birthdate and other details so as to give characterisitics to represent like that mother spirit’s child. Because of that, the mother spirit was ‘reunited’ with her child and is thus set free. Other than that, the rest of the explanations and terms as usual seemed like gibberish to me. Huh? What the? Come again? So typical of me.
Another school is haunted in episodes 7-10. But this time the spirits are possessing the students and making them do weird stuffs like eating sand (yuck!). To cut things short, it seems that all those students who have experienced ill fortune have 1 thing in common, they all have sat at that same seat location in a particular class. After hearing weirder and weirder misfortunes that befall on those students, the gang decides to split up and look for any clues for any signs of evil spirits within the school compound.
Mai learns that there’s a girl in this school, Chiaki Kasai, who is believed to have some ESP powers and can bend spoon. So much so that the school asks her to prove her special powers 1 day in which she did. Because the teachers after witnessing it, told her off not to continue messing around, Kasai got pissed off and puts a curse on the school by saying something like how she’ll curse everyone to death. Though Mai and Naru met her and asks her to demonstrate her powers, she failed and blames it on the the recent events which ‘disrupts’ her focus. Yeah, we see Naru too can bend spoons, surprising Mai a lot, as he tells her not to tell Lin of this. However, not everybody is against Kasai. Her biology teacher, Kei Ubusuna seems to be siding her and protecting her.
Though Masako doesn’t feel any spirit presence, the rest did their usual exorsism as a precaution. But when a male teacher whom Kasai cursed earlier on got into a car accident, several girls confronted Kasai and threatened her to stop it all. Later Mai explains some dream of hers (not that I can remember) and the others conclude that it might be some vodoo doll, Naru thinks that there’s a possibility that a special kind of curse vodoo dolls may be used to curse whatever their curse is personified to. Since the spirits here are too weak to kill, someone knew of this and plans to use them for torture, and blame it all on Kasai since she was the one who started putting the curses on everyone. However Mai believes firmly that Kasai isn’t the culprit.
Soon they find some paper doll in the desk where the supposedly cursed seat is. Unfortunately, Masako got injured when some mysterious hand pushes her to fall off the stairs. Masako has to be taken to the hospital and with that, everyone is really starting to believe that Kasai is the one that is putting the curse. The rest soon hurriedly try to find any other paper dolls in the school compound. After some more explanations like how Naru mentions that Kasai’s unstable powers may not make her the culprit as this sort of curse requires a lot of expertise, while Mai is finding more of the dolls, she heard a child’s voice and followed it and noticed it to be coming from the sewer hole. But that child seems to be some spirit and is dragging Mai’s feet down! Ah! I’m freaking out. Luckily Naru’s there to grab Mai but since the ladder to the sewer below is rusty, it broke and the 2 plunged below. Being alone with Naru in a dark sewer doesn’t mean a romantic thing for Mai because there’s another spirit appearing! And this time, one with a scythe! Oh what are they gonna do? Naru’s pretty calm but Mai’s in a little panic. As luck would have it, Lin manages to find the 2 and rescues them. Okay, the spirit just disappeared.
When they regrouped, Bou-san and Ayako have found all the paper dolls and there is one where Masako, Mai and Naru’s name on it! But Naru soon collapsed due to his injuries and was brought to the hospital. After the rest burned the paper dolls, Mai confronts Kasai but Mai still believes that Kasai is innocent when they get message to meet Naru at the hospital. So it wasn’t Naru’s injuries which made him collapse but anemia which isn’t serious. Everyone gathers in the room Naru’s in and we see Naru’s display of Sherlock Holmes mystery solving analysis. Yup, Naru knows who did it. It’s the bio teacher Ubusuna. Of course Ubusuna wants him to prove it. Naru explains about that cursed desk how the curse is to curse those who sat there and no one specific and to curse a specific person, one needs to know his/her full name. And since Mai firmly believed that it’s not Kasai who did it, which means she suspects someone else, which means Ubusuna feels threatened and hence wrote her name on her paper doll. Furthermore, besides Masako who is a famous tv celebrity, only the principal and Ubusuna knows Naru’s real full name thus the reason his name is on the paper doll too. Kasai then tries to protect her teacher by taking the blame saying that it’s all her fault but Naru tells her not to protect Ubusuna any further.
It seems Naru too did some background check on Ubusuna. When Ubusuna was young, she was one of those children with special ESP abilities, more specifically, she was able to bend spoons. Because her powers were unstable, she was caught cheating of her abilities. Soon, Ubusuna admits herself as the culprit. You can say she got upset and hated people who mock or don’t believe in those with ESP powers and decides to curse them. But as Ubusuna is placing the flowers in the vase, Naru saw something else Ubusuna is placing in and asks Lin to stop her and in an instant, it’s revealed that Ubusuna plans to curse Naru again with a doll with his name on it. Busted. Back at SPR’s office, Naru had Mai do some ESP test and incredibly, Mai’s prediction rate is 1000 out of 1000! Misses, that is. Yeah, she didn’t get 1 right at all. Though she doesn’t have any of those super abilitites, Naru thinks that Mai’s clairvoyant dreams and intuition may be her latent ESP powers, in which she’s able to sense trouble against people with malicious intent. Plus, we see Naru going to do his spoon bending skill, much to Lin’s protest. Bou-san notices that it’s fake, the way he does it. I can’t remember the explanation, but Naru promised to Lin not to do it again.
Episode 11 is a light-hearted one-episoder. One of Mai’s friends comes visiting SPR to request for an investigation at a park whereby couples get mysteriously splashed by water on their heads. And it’s not even drizzling. Naru turns her down as usual. Soon Masako comes in and asks for the same thing because some production crew she’s indebted to is filming there. Though Naru’s reluctant at first, after some talk about repaying people, Naru agrees, surprising Mai. Yeah, more of Mai’s jealousy here. Since everyone’s there at the park, they decided to pair up as couples to see for themselves. Naru ends up with Masako (Mai must be green with envy), Ayako with John and finally Mai and Bou-san. So as they go about, Mai and Bou-san got splashed prompting everyone else to rush to where they are.
Masako sense a presence of a spirit but passes out. When Masako comes to, she suddenly becomes possessed! Hohohohoho! So funny and cute to see Masako laughing like that. In short, that spirit who possessed Masako is a young girl who recently committed suicide because her boyfriend was two-timing her. Not only that, when she confronted him, he splashed her face with water. Well, she didn’t die by the usual hanging or poisoning. In fact she tried but failed miserably. She died in a more freaky way whereby she knocked her head on the pavement when a cat appeared and that surprise causes her to lose her balance before meeting her demise. Though she tried to scare her boyfriend, but he’s such a blur case, her scare tactics didn’t work and thus decides to take out her revenge by splashing water on couples.
Of course Mai is angry and disgusted with that lady’s boyfriend and with the others, collaborates with her to get back at her boyfriend. So when her ex-boyfriend appears at the park, they all scared him by telling him that there’s a spirit haunting him. Then the final blow came when ex-girlfriend splashed some water on his head, freaking him out totally as he runs away. With that, she is satisfied and now can move on to the next world. This kind of case also got. Back at the SPR’s office, Masako is asking Naru out for tea as Mai is bloody confident that he’ll reject it. He didn’t. Her heart’s on fire now. Before Masako left, she tells Mai that she and Naru has been on several ‘dates’. Now that’s adding fuel to the fire. To quell Mai’s jealousy, Bou-san offers for them to go on a date as well. But John and Ayako wants to tag along as the quartet heads out together for their ‘date’.
It’s Christmas Eve in episodes 12-13. No, there are no ghosts of Christmas past, present and future here. It seems John has requested Naru and the rest to investigate some haunting case at a church, which also serves as a shelter for ‘abandoned’ children. I mean, it’s like a daycare centre but only more permanent as their parents are usually away and have no time to look after them. While the gang plays with those kids and the kids are thrilled with tv celebrity Masako, the priest told them about a case whereby 1 of the children becomes possessed while holding a stick and there would be echoes of a stick hitting sound. And that possessed kid has been missing since morning. Not the kind of Christmas everyone would wish for.
Mai eventually finds that kid in hiding and the rest rushed over there. To everyone’s surprise, that kid suddenly hugs Lin and calls him his father. Is it for real? Nope. Lin just resembles his father a lot. Yeah, he’s very clingy. So some flashback about a kid named Kenji who was lost 30 years ago when his father left him at the church, Kenji prayed and hoped everyday that his dad would 1 day return and bring him back. While waiting for his dad, Kenji played hide and seek with his other friends there and it seems because Kenji was so good in hiding he has become a master in it as nobody has ever found him before. So 1 night while they’re playing, Kenji went missing. They tried searching for him but it was futile. So the stick sound is used when the kids got lost as a form of communication to tell their location.
Lin doesn’t like the idea of the boy clinging to him as John prepares to exorcise him. At first, John seems successful. Only catch is, the spirit has now possessed Mai! Uh-huh, a possessed Mai smiling happily at Lin as though nothing happened. So the rest tries to do some investigation and comes out with possible theories how Kenji got lost. Naru concludes that probably the game will end only if Kenji is found and the gang enlists the help of the children to ‘find’ him. Though their search comes up empty handed, the gang notices something. Since the children are small, they only search things that are at their eye level or within their reachable distance. Which means, they don’t look higher. So they rush out to search for higher places and found Mai clinging on to a tree. Yeah, she looks like a koala bear. While the possessed Mai looked happy to have been found, Naru tells him the truth like how Lin isn’t his dad and asks him to tell him where he’s really been hiding all along.
Mai looks up to the building and as everyone looked in her direction, upon closer examination, they saw the skeletal remains of a boy high on top of the statue at the church’s entrance. A short flashback reveals that Kenji went to hide up there but since the scaffolding of that area which was under construction at that time collapsed, Kenji was trapped up there and no one could hear him. Soon Kenji leaves Mai and Mai is back to her normal self. All just in time for Christmas.
Another high school being terrorized with supernatural events in episodes 14-17. This time, the students are being bitten by a ghostly purple dog and the teachers, especially the disciplinary teacher Matsuyama, are denying it because they don’t believe in ghosts. One of the students of this school, Osamu Yasuhara, helps the gang in their investigations. As usual, they did their usual investigation and exorcism and during 1 of their rounds, they heard a commotion coming from 1 of the classroom to find that purple dog charging at the students before disappearing. Now that Matsuyama has seen it with his own eyes, he can’t deny its existance anymore. Yup, that teacher turned into a coward now. Though Masako says she could sense the presence of several spirits in the school, she says she cannot see them. We also here that the hauntings may have started from a student named Sakauchi who has died already. Something like some sort of revenge as he believes in ghost hunting but the teachers aren’t too fond of it.
Of course Mai gets into 1 of her usual weird dreams as she see several spirits and there’s ahuge purple aura spirit called will-o-the-wisp, consuming the other spirits there. Besides that short comic relief that Yasuhara says how he love Bou-san and Naru, freaking the rest out before finding out it was a joke (because Bou-san asks if Yasuhara liked Mai), Bou-san teaches Mai several chant lines to protect herself from spirits. I donno. I can’t seem to remember it but Mai is a quick learner and could remember that whole line without Bou-san having to repeat himself. Then the purple dog attacks again. Only this time, it is larger and is injuring the students before disappearing. Mai then collapse and has a vision that Sakauchi’s spirit has been devoured! When Mai comes to, the rest comes to a conclusion that the spirits are consuming each other to be stronger. Survival of the fittest. Dog eat dog world. But the team is left in stitches as the events that has happened don’t really sum up and there’s more to it than meets the eye.
Later that night, Mai heads to the biology lab to retrieve a tape when the lab door suddenly closes and locks. Mai’s torchlight goes out and the room shakes before the glass breaks and smell of formalin reeks the place. Mai faints again and has that dream of the spirits consuming each other and other stuffs relating to Sakauchi. Mai regains her consciousness in the infirmary when she hears Naru’s voice calling out to her. As the rest left to continue their work, Ayako stays by Mai’s side. Ayako teaches Mai another chant lines and Mai seems to remember them at 1 go. Soon another round of weird dream of Naru telling Mai that the will-o-the-wisp is awakening soon after consuming many spirits. Mai saw John and Yasuhara heading to that will-o-the-wisp in her dream, as she snaps out of it and informs Ayako about it. As Ayako left to warn them, Mai experiences another weird supernatural event. A blue spirit appears in the next bed as Mai chants her protective lines she learned from Bou-san and Ayako but the spirit pushes her off the bed. The ground then collapsed leaving Mai trapped. Luckily Mai is saved by Naru who arrived just in time to shield her.
The next day, the principal wants them to stop whatever they’re doing but I suppose the gang isn’t just gonna give up. So more explanations which I don’t understand, like something to do with a bunch of insects eating each other in a barrel and the the strongest one will be used to curse the victim. Then some whatever curse game the entire school was playing called kokkuri. I don’t remember how this curse game works but the gang notices it to be different from the usual. Lin then says the curse could be used to kill someone but good thing that it’s only amateurs (the students) who are doing it because a person with Lin’s calibre could kill someone outright. They soon discover that the next person to die in that kokkuri is Matsuyama as his name is written on it. However, Matsuyama still doesn’t believe in supernatural stuff after witnessing that close one himself as he still blames it on Naru and co.
So what I understand is that the only way to avoid Matsuyama from death is to return the curse to the 1 who cursed him. Sakauchi may be the 1 who sets the curse but the curse has been passed on by the other students and it’s hard to determine which student has pass the curse to him. Furthermore, Sakauchi is already dead. So Naru propose that in order to save Matsuyama, the whole student may be sacrificed. This pisses Mai off very much. So are they gonna save 1 guy in exchange of several innocent school students or let this bastard meet his maker. Either way, somebody has to die. Mai storms out feeling very angry towards Naru’s attitude.
The next day all the students gather in the school hall as Lin prepares for the ritual. Mai tries to stop Lin but is prevented from doing so from the others. Mai gets emotional and calls Naru a murderer. Bou-san comforts and reasons with Mai on Naru’s action and to trust him, which Mai accepts somehow. Once the ritual is done, everyone comes out of the hall and Mai saw lots of broken wooden dolls with the student’s names on the floor. It looks like Naru had used these dolls to represent the real person to break the curse. Thus the dolls took the ‘death impact’. Mai felt guilty for jumping to conclusions but asks why put in on several students than on just 1 person. Naru replies that he had a better chance to sustain the curse as it is spread out rather than being concentrate on just 1. With that, the curse is broken and the gang notched up another case successfully solved.
It seems Yasuhara somehow joins the motley ghost hunt crew because in episodes 18-21, he agrees to help out by impersonating himself as Naru whereas Naru becomes his assistant called Narumi. Also joining the team is Naru and Lin’s ‘master’, an eccentric young woman named Madoka Mori. Furthermore, Madoka is the one who requested for Naru to take on this case. This story is arc to me is quite confusing because there are lots and lots and lots of explanations which caused me to be even blur-er than a cataract vision. This is what I know. Naru is doing this because this case involves some political figure, thus Naru plans to stay out of the limelight. Of course, the place is a bloody huge mansion. How huge is it? Let me give you an idea. The construction to extend the mansion is endless. So much so that everytime a construction finish, a new one begins. What’s so bad about that? The rooms and hallways are build outwards, meaning that there are rooms within room within rooms and God who knows how many rooms and secret spaces in this mansion. It’s like a maze and you could easily get lost. In addition, because it involves some big shot, the person who contacted the ghost hunt members, Ohashi, has brought in several other supernatural specialists to help in this case. The more reason why Naru wants to maintain a low profile.
So we have a legendary English psychic guy, Dr Oliver Davis, from the National Defense are Professor Chie and her assistant Naoko, and an obnoxious pyschic researcher Minami and his worker Hideo. So everybody gets down to work. Since it’s gonna take several days of course everybody has to stay at the mansion. Mai has another dream. More of a nightmare. Dark creepy toilet, bloodstained tiles, blood soaked bathtub. It’s like she’s in an American Horror movie. Good thing it’s just a nightmare. The next day, Chie asks everyone’s help to summon some spirits. During the ritual, Naoko suddenly started to write furiously as the room shakes. It seems most of the words say "Save Me" and there is 1 where it says "I don’t want to die".
But the next day, Chie is in a frantic because her assistant Naoko is missing. She couldn’t have left without leaving Chie a word and she checked that there is no signs that Naoko had left the mansion. Even if Naoko was afraid and left for home, Chie says that she’d even tried contacting those places but Naoko wasn’t there. But this shouldn’t deter the ghost hunt team as they continue to look for more clues. While doing so, they found a secret door at the staircase and inside it some portrait and a note with some writing. But I’ll leave it there since I don’t understand what’s going on. Also Madoka who snuck out of the mansion earlier on, snuck back in to tell the gang the fruits of her research. It seems that the owner of this house has hired many cleaners to clean the mansion but he found out 1 of them to be embezzling money from him and thus accusing and firing everyone including his other family members. And the reason for the neverending extension is to keep the spirits from getting out of the mansion. Yup, it’s like to confuse them. Later that night, Mai thinks she’s having another nightmare but it seems real this time. Two guys dragged her off her bed to along the dark and creepy hallways and corridors. Though Mai felt very scared but somehow she couldn’t move or scream for help. It’s like she has been paralyzed more than fear and could only watch in horror as they put her on some surgery table. Mai is then strapped onto it and 1 of them placed a knife on her throat and is gonna slit across! Oh my goodness! Is this the end of Mai?! It’s like coming straight out of an American horror movie.
Thank goodness it’s just a nightmare as Mai awakens by Ayako’s slap. But that horror dream was enough to shake up Mai as she’s in tears. You could say she has a near-death experience. By this time, Hideo too has been missing. After Mai calms down, the gang speculates that Naoko may have been reading her own death and that the spirits in this house likes young people. Because of that, Naru instructs Ayako to protect Masako, John and Bou-san for Yasuhara while Lin for Mai. This leaves Naru himself with no protection as he himself doesn’t possess any spirit repelling powers, which Lin protests. Of course there’s some talk between those 2 which reveals more info about themselves (which I couldn’t care less), surprising Mai. Naru tells Lin that he could leave if he’s not happy. Anyway, they got hold of the mansion’s blueprint and notice a huge unknown space in the middle. Plus, there seems to be no access to it. Naru concludes that the construction of building outwards is to keep and lock something in. Then something about the chimneys which they notice there are 12 from the outside view the mansion but only 11 inside it.
Later the lights went dim and suddenly the walls were filled with red kanji writings when the light came back on. And after a short ritual, a spirit appeared and it looks like it’s Naoki! Naoki hasn’t realized that she has died already. Naru tries to ask some questions like about that guy in the portrait and where she was the last time as Naoki points to the wall. So more deduction about that guy in the portrait is some guy called Urado. I’m not sure, but it has got to do with some dracula stuffs. Bla bla bla. Urado probably wanted to stay young and healthy (since Urado himself is weak and frail) and believed to have sacrifice young people for this twisted wish of his. So as they check out the mysterious space in the middle the next day, they found a hidden path inside and during their search found a corpse dead. Supposedly the person who went missing several months ago. Since it’s really dark and the walls are really thick, nobody could hear or smell anything coming from inside. Naru breaks the news to Chie but the latter seems to be in a frenzy as she pleads for Dr Davis to help. Then it is revealed that this Dr Davis is a fake and that he’s doing this because Minami instructed him to. So the cat’s out of the bag as he leaves. Yup, he’s speaking in English. I wonder if everyone else understood what he said.
Naru then tells his team to pack up and leave because this place cannot be exorcised. That’s because Naru believes that this Urado guy is a monster and not a spirit. Furthermore, Naru’s mission here is complete. Madoka sent Naru here to see whether Dr Davis is a fake or not and since the truth is confirmed, there’s nothing more to proceed on. So a little b*tchiness between a jealous Masako and Mai on Naru. Need I elaborate? But looks like the gang can’t leave yet. Because in just a blink of an eye, Masako went missing. The gang must be thinking the worse as they try to find her. Mai has dreams of a very afraid Masako in that surgery room. Because of that, Mai followed the directions which lead her deep inside the mansion. There seems to be a house with a garden inside that space as Mai went ahead of the rest. Luckily Masako’s still breathing when Mai finds her. It’s a real messy and bloody place. Then some monster comes out of the bathtub, supposedly Urado himself as he tries to attack the 2 ladies. Luckily Lin manages to arrive in time and summon some spirits to ward Urado off. As everyone tries to make their escape, Bou-san kicked an adjacent window which seems to be connected to the outside garden. Safe.
Thus in the end Yasuhara told the owner to move out or burn the house down before the gang leaves. A few days later in the newspaper, a small article about the mansion caught fire. Back at SPR’s office, Mai took the opportunity to ask Madoka about Naru’s parents when Madoka answered that both Naru and Lin are actually eloping together. Mai is in shock. Of course, Madoka’s only joking. However, this story arc still left me with some questions like how did Masako got abducted so fast and what really happened to Urado and that mansion in the end. Plus with all those thick walls, how did that monster get around and is he still alive after how many decades. So did that dracula myth really work about staying young and beautiful by soaking in young women’s blood? I suppose being a supernatural genre doesn’t mean it’s all ghosts and spirits as the producers decide to put a monster here. I didn’t really see that coming.
The final story arc in episodes 22-25 sees SPR being approached by a young man, Akifumi, who brings his niece to the office and shows them some creepy and horrendous bruises on her body. So the team (except John and Masako) are brought to a remote house on a remote island and we hear some story how it all started long ago. Must be in the family’s genes because after their great grandpa died, the rest of the family members followed to 1 by 1. One of the inhabitants, Ejiro, isn’t to fond of the ghost team’s presence and launches a verbally scathing attack on them. Furthermore, they’re being told that there were other supernatural specialists who came before them but they all died too. Other strange phenomenan include 2 of the children, Takako and Tazuki became inseparable and would whisper only among themselves. Then Ejiro as though he’s being possessed (which I think is a fact) suddenly gets into a fit and tries to kill somebody with a kitchen knife. Luckily Lin manages to knock him out. Naru asks if anyone of them could do an appropriate exorcism and Ayako says she could but couldn’t guarantee anything. While doing so, a purple fox spirit emerges and went charge right through Naru’s body before disappearing into the wall.
Naru seems uncomfortable and later Bou-san saw Naru trying to strangle Ayako. Looks like Naru’s being possessed! Again Lin knocks out Naru unconscious and states that it’s lucky for Ayako to be alive since that fox spirit isn’t used to using Naru’s body yet. So throughout most of the remaining episodes, Naru will be in a comatose state, which mean our leading guy is temporarily out of commission. Thus indirectly, you’ll notice Bou-san taking over the analysis, calling the shots and such. Mai has another weird dream later with Naru having killed somebody with a knife and telling Mai how she has betrayed him. Then Naru brings Mai along as they run away from some angry mobs. They’re reunited with the other ghost hunt members and are surrounded by the mob with no way out. Then a change of scene whereby Naru shows Mai a path towards a cave at the bottom of the cliff whereby all the spirits who died are gathering at an altar/shrine. There are even animal spirits there.
When John and Masako finally arrive, they’re horrified to find out what has happened to Naru. Furthermore, Masako can sense the spirit but isn’t sure what kind of spirit it is as something is obstructing her from sensing its true form. Mai then asks Akifumi about the cave and the shrine in it and Akifumi brings the team there. While on their way there, they saw 5 stones near a cliff which Akifumi explains to be some tomb and also there are 2 stones tied together with a rope symbolizing a man and a woman. Then some legend about a fisherman and a princess who fell in love with each other but some rich man wanted to marry the princess. So the fisherman and princess decided to elope with the former sending some letter but it was intercepted by the rich man. When the fisherman knew about it, he confronted the rich guy and killed him right in front of the princess’s eyes. Then as the 2 are being surrounded by the rich man’s family, cornered and no where to run, they both jumped off the cliff. So more in-depth analyzing and explanations about the stones which I don’t remember and understand.
Finally Akifumi brings the gang into the cave and they saw in the shrine a wooden piece which resembles a posture of Buddha’s hand. So that’s called Ebisu something like in the old days people worshipped it because they believed anything washed up ashore from the see is a blessing. Back at the house, another family member, Yasou, seems to have cut his wrists and the place is all bloodied! After Yasou is sent to the hospital, Takako and Tazuki asks Mai if Yasou’s dead, which Mai replied negative and the kids’ facial expression turned into a disappointing one. Though Bou-san suggests to do some exorcism with some talisman, the children’s mom, Youko, furiously refuses it as she thinks it’s cruel. Mai tries to find out to see if Takako and Tazuki is possessed by bluffing them Yasou has died. With that the 2 seemed happy as Mai grabbed them. Tazuki manages to break free and threatens Mai to release Takako or else he’ll kill and throw himself into the ocean below. Then an old lady’s voice can be heard saying how it’s a blessing to die by drowning and that everyone is going to die as Tazuki rushes towards the cliff. Mai in a dilemma then recite her chant lines which causes the spirits in the 2 kids to flee but it caused them to collapse and when they’re back to normal, they’re both crying. Bou-san chides Mai for her recklessness and tells her to be sure of the situation first and not to let it happen again. As Tazuki and Takako are being treated for their wounds, Youko comes in and yells at them to take off the talisman. In the mean time, another family member, Nanao, is gonna commit suicide by jumping off the cliff.
While the gang manage to exorcise a spirit from Youko when she started to get violent, it seems Youko has no recollection of what has happened nor who the ghost hunt team is. Soon they realize Nanao is missing and went looking for her, only to find her corpse at the bottom of the cliff. Masako gets into a ritual and becomes temporarily possessed by Nanao’s spirit. Nanao mentions that she was being pushed down but didn’t know who before she starts becoming hysterical and leaves Masako’s body. Mai then had a dream about the spirits in the cave recycling itself like as though they’re being reincarnated or something. But then the main house caught fire as everyone rushes back. To their horror, they saw another family member, Kazuyasu, violently slashing the walls with a sword. They realize it’s just a ploy to wake Naru up. Lin uses his spirits to repel Kazuyasu. Then at the cliffs, Kazuyasu as quite close to the edge and Lin seems a little injured. Mai realized that he may be the one who pushed Nanao down and before everyone knows it, Kazuyasu says how everyone will die before killing himself by jumping off the cliff.
Yasuhara comes back with some info about the place. Not that I understand but it goes something like this. Long ago there were 3 mystic men with powers to repel some evil spirits in the place in exchange for that Ebisu. But the villagers got greedy and killed them at the cliffs so that they could steal Ebisu but Ebisu that time was a golden hand, then reverted back to a wood piece. Because of that, the place is cursed due to the mystic men’s revenge. But Bou-san mentions another possibilty about the 6th group. Something about some group of men travelling to several spiritual sites. Then there was some rebellion and the people cornered the masterminds of the rebellion and killed then at the 6th group site, just like in Mai’s dreams. Because of that, supernatural events occured ever since. Thus some ritual to appease the spirits is done or else strange happenings will occur like bruises on the neck would appear. While the gang are contemplating which of the stories is the culprit, the light just went out and the glass shatters. Hey! It’s zombies this time and they’re like a bunch of them trying to enter and attack the team. Just like an American horror movie, huh. They’re trying to fend off the zombies from reaching Naru and the gang seems to be overwhelmed by them. Mai wishes how Naru would come save them all.
But during the attack, the are some spirits which penetrated Mai and Bou-san. Though Mai felt pain but there don’t seem to be any physical wound. Soon the spirits and zombies back down and the gang use this oppostunity to rest a little. Bou-san notices that the culprit may be 3 mystic men as he can hear some monk chant in the background back then and how they manipulated other spirits to attack them. For once Ayako stepped up to do her exorcism this time. Yeah, the rest didn’t have much confidence in her, but Ayako has a trick up her sleeves. Ayako starts her ritual at the 3 tombstones which causes the trees to start swaying and then spirits and zombies started appearing before the 3 mystic men spirits were being repelled by the ring of a bell in Ayako’s hands. Ayako explains the using of tree spirits in cleansing and since its resources is limited, 1 can only use it once in every 6 months to allow the tree spirits to recover its powers.
Back at the house, Naru has awaken. Of course Naru is back to his old sarcastic self and takes over all the explanations and analysis. Like as though he knows them all while he’s sleeping. So Naru mentions something about Ebisu, how Ebisu felt people staying there should continue worshipping it or else it would bring trouble. The gang enters the cave and they felt like it’s like a living thing as they could hear its ‘heartbeat’ and breathing. The cave entrance soon closed and round white spirits appear as everyone tries to repel them. Bou-san tries to take out the root of the cause, which is Ebisu as he charges there with his religious knife. But some powerful barrier repelled him and sent him flying away. Yeah, they’re taking on a God this time. John and Yasuhara took their turns but met with the same fate. Then I don’t understand this part because Naru mocks them by saying is that all they’ve got. Mai gets pissed off and chides Naru for his pride thing and tells him to do it by himself. With that, Naru unleashes his whatever super power energy blast destroying Ebisu. Everybody’s in shock as the cave returns back to normal. I donno. But I felt that Naru’s super power ability seems far fetched. Like it was out of convenience. As they walk out of the cave, Naru collapses.
The scene changes as we see Naru in ICU and Lin explaining to Mai how Naru possess such strong power since young. But since his body’s unable to handle the immense power, it could be very life threatening. Thus Lin taught Naru some techniques to soften the impact. Mai realized that Naru back then did that even though he knew it would endanger his life was because of her provocation that hurt his pride. Yeah, it won’t be cool to get mocked by a school girl. Naru wakes up several days later and is still in his sarcastic and usual mood. Naru asks for Mai to pour him some tea in which a jealous Masako says she wants to help as well as she and Mai tussle each other for the flask to serve Naru. Oops, they spilled it. But Mai seems happy because they’re all together and doesn’t want the days like these to end.
Overall, I felt that the ending could’ve been better but since they made it like that, I suppose they’ve already made provisions for OVA or a sequel. At least the gang solved every case and I could say that it ends well, though there are some parts which I felt they didn’t tie up properly. Or is it rather that because of my blurness I wasn’t able to comprehend most of it. And because of that, sometimes I find certain points far fetched. Partly because perhaps I don’t really believe in this kind of things.
The thing about this series is that both the opening and ending themes are instrumental. Probably to give a sense of supernatural and eerie-ness. Yeah, it would be downright funny and weird if it’s a pop or rock song. Somebody singing about ghosts and spirits. That wouldn’t be fitting. Though the opening instrumental theme is more lively, the ending one is downright creepy as it’s like an eerie ballad. Furthermore, you could see those spirits floating and wondering what’s it all about. The next episode preview isn’t anything much with Mai just narrating the title of the next episode. Nothing more than that. So much so that it feels unnecessary in the first place.
As mentioned, the drawing, art and animation is made to appeal to all those bishie fans alike. The voice acting seems pretty decent to me. Since each story arc involves different characters, the cast list is a long one, though I happen to notice that some of the voice actor and actresses of minor character’s to be the same the person in different story arcs. Hey, you wouldn’t notice it, right? I didn’t. The producers too try to maintain that eerie and mysterious feel in each episode but I notice that as each episode goes by, I felt less and less of that. Maybe I’ve become ‘immune’ to it and in a way have come to expect the unexpected. Yeah, after all those ghostly experiences, Mai too becomes ‘immune’. This girl has seen a lot, if you know what I mean.
Even after watching finish the series, it didn’t make me that all interested in supernatural stuffs. You could say that I didn’t really learn anything and is still in the blur zone. I will still try to keep myself at a distance when it comes to supernatural stuffs as a precaution not to have sleepless nights. Whether you believe in the existance of ghosts and spirits or not is totally up to you in person. I’m pretty sure that there are more scary things in this world than this right? ;)
So if your neighbourhood is experiencing any hauntings or supernatural phenomena, don’t call Ghostbusters because they’re already outdated. Don’t call your Feng Shui master because he’s just lining up his pockets. Instead, you have a cast of good looking, colourful and varied supernatural specialists. I wonder if I should call them to solve that whatever creaking sound I always hear while I’m sleeping. Then again, it may be the wind or just my imagination. But who knows…

We Are The Stars

August 3, 2007

  Mezameru mae ni mita yume wa,
  Kitto kanau kara keshite wasurenaide
Even though this song has been around in my collection for several years now, I still find We Are The Stars, which is the opening theme song from the anime Ragnarok The Animation, to be quite satisfying to sing. Uh-huh, one of those few songs which I kind sing with confidence and don’t have to worry if there are any ‘tough’ parts to go over.
  Sugiteku toki no kirehashi ni,
  Watashi no ibasho sagasu,
  Hibi wa mou hitsuyou nai
Sung by Yamazaki Maimi, probably this singer doesn’t have that high pitched level voice, which is the reason why it makes this song easier to sing. I could be wrong. I mean, I kinda notice when I hear other songs sung by her not to be in any high pitched. Not to say that her voice is dry or hoarse, but it’s kinda in between.
  Kumo no katachi no utsusu SHIRUETTO,
  EDEN no chi e no chizu no you,
  Tooku tooku sagashi tsudzuketai no,
  Yume ni mita promised land
This song is quite fitting for all those RPG group kinda games as the song is about hope and such. So lyrics wise, it won’t be hard to remember the lines as the words are simple enough even for beginners. Well, having said that, I myself is having trouble remembering some of the lines. I must be getting old. ;p
  We are the stars, Hikaru ya no you ni,
  You are my star, Taeru koto no nai chikara,
  Yami wo nuketa saki ni hirogaru PANORAMA,
  We are journeying to the stars
Other than that, this sounds like your usual J-pop song with your usual electric guitars, background vocals and a little sound effect in it. Though this song doesn’t have that long voice sustaining lines, there’s one part after the solo and just before the final chorus whereby the music softens, the singer did go a little tinsy-insy-weensy bit high but that’s manageable. Though when I’m not at my peak, I may have some problems there.
  We are the stars, Sora wo kaketeku,
  You are my star, Kagegae no nai ai,
  Sunabokori ni ukabi agaru ERUDORADO,
  We are journeying to the stars
So I don’t really mind spending another 5 minutes singing this song again because it makes me feel satisfied after finish singing it. Probably I could consider myself to sound just like the singer herself. Yeah, right. And what a perfect karaoke version this is. Now if only more of the other karaoke/instrumental versions of other songs can be like this. Singing would be a bliss. But I guess it goes to show that I’m not that talented after all. Hehehe.
  We are journeying to the stars…

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